Mexico’s president wants Mexicans to buy Citigroup unit

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says he hopes Mexican traders buy the native subsidiary of Citigroup

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated Thursday he hopes Mexican traders buy the native subsidiary of Citigroup.

The U.S. banking big Citigroup introduced Tuesday it could promote its Citibanamex retail banking operations in Mexico as a part of a worldwide technique to give attention to the company market.

López Obrador’s remark is probably going to draw scrutiny, given his generally shut, generally troubled relations with two Mexican business magnates.

One, retail and banking magnate Ricardo Salinas Pliego, wrote in his Twitter account he was weighing a bid for the financial institution. Salinas Pliego already runs the smaller Banco Azteca.

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“I’ve all the time believed in and invested in Mexico and Mexicans,” Salinas Pliego wrote. “For that motive, I’ve requested my staff to analyze the advisability of buying Citibanamex, and doubling down my guess on Mexico, Mexicans and their future.”

López Obrador gave the U.S. ambassadorship to a former affiliate of Salinas Pliego. He has additionally included the tycoon in authorities business offers and proposed a invoice on greenback purchases by the central financial institution that analysts say would have benefitted Sanlinas Pliego. That proposal was later largely dropped.

But many doubt Salinas Pliego might elevate the $12 billion to $15 billion that analysts suppose Citibanamex may cost.

The different magnate, Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest man, has pursuits primarily in telecoms and building, but in addition owns a small financial institution.

While the president has cordial relations with Slim — the 2 had been seen breakfasting collectively not too long ago — Slim has additionally been bruised by allegations of building defects on an elevated subway line in Mexico City that collapsed final yr, killing 26 folks. Slim’s firm has pledged to restore the road at its personal expense.

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Mexican authorities stated Wednesday they’re going to preserve a detailed eye on Citigroup’s proposed sale, noting the transaction poses “delicate” regulatory points.

Citibanamex is Mexico’s third-largest financial institution and regulators are apparently involved that whoever acquires it might accumulate too large a share of the banking market.

The nation’s Finance Department stated in a press release Wednesday, “The exit of such a big retail financial institution from our nation poses delicate questions for finance and regulatory authorities … together with the elemental challenge of market focus.”

The president made his remarks about Citibanamex in a video posted to his social media accounts. López Obrador has been absent from his traditional morning news briefings whereas he recovers from COVID-19, and has been posting movies from his workplace as a substitute.

López Obrador stated he was recovering and had by no means had severe signs, claiming “this variant has very mild signs. It’s the equal of a chilly.” Officials have advised, however not confirmed, he has the omicron variant.

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