President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Thursday that businessmen Carlos Slim and Carlos Hank González have “sufficient resources” to apply as possible buyers of Banamex.
The president affirmed that the sale of the institution represents an opportunity to ‘Mexicanize’ her and return it to the hands of national investors.
“I am pleased that Ricardo Salinas Pliego has expressed his interest in buying it. He already has Banco Azteca and I think have enough resources to do it. The same could be said of Carlos Slim of Inbursa and Carlos Hank of Banorte,” he said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
Regarding Citi’s announcement, he stressed that this is part of its global strategy to focus on other types of business, since it also sold its participation in consumer banking in other countries such as China, Brazil and Argentina.
“I say this so that it is not misunderstood because the adversaries also take advantage of everything to say that things are bad and to say that this is why Banamex is being sold,” he commented.
López Obrador stressed that the operation is an opportunity for something that “is not bad” to become something “very good.”
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The president said he was recovering satisfactorily from his second COVID infection, to the point that he was working and looking at the issue of the sale of Banamex with Rogelio Ramírez de la O and Adán Augusto López, secretaries of Treasury and Government, respectively.
The president ruled out that the government will try to prevent the National Bank of Mexico from being bought by one or more foreign investors, although he stressed his preference for Banamex to remain in Mexican hands.
“It usually happens that bank profits, when the shareholders are foreigners, they are not reinvested in the country”, he added.
On Tuesday, Citi announced it plans to exit Mexico’s corporate and consumer banking as part of CEO Jane Fraser’s push to overhaul the company’s strategy.
Investors have long pressured the bank’s executives to seek to exit consumer-focused operations in Mexico, where it operates as Citibanamex.
Mexico is the largest international consumer market for the New York-based bank. In the first three quarters of 2021, the totality of the businesses from which Citi would be exiting in Mexico represented approximately 3.5 billion in revenue, 1.2 billion in earnings before taxes.
With information from Bloomberg