Sale of Banamex: a sign of confidence? Sale of Banamex: a sign of confidence?

Although the president of the Association of Banks of Mexico, Daniel Becker, always refuses to talk about a specific bank, he was quick to point out on his Twitter account that Citi’s decision to divest its retail business is “exclusively” due to A definition of your business model.

The speed with which Becker and today the Ministry of Finance reacted is because, given the confirmation that Citi wants to sell Banamex as a whole, with the exception of investment banking, it was speculated that behind Citi’s decision there was mistrust towards Mexico and the 4T, because although it is true that Citi is abandoning its consumer banking operations in other countries and regions to focus on institutional investors, the Banamex operation is very profitable, as will be demonstrated tomorrow, when the group reveals its results financial.

The Secretary of the Treasury, Rogelio Ramírez de la O, assured that Jane Fraser, the CEO of Citi, had already anticipated this decision, which “does not affect their confidence in Mexico” because the group will continue to invest in Mexico.

However, the new investment, with a license focused on wholesale banking, will not be more than a minimum percentage of the 15,000 million dollars that, it is estimated, will be obtained from the sale of all of Banamex, because it includes branches, ATMs, insurance, afore, real estate, operating licenses and even its cultural heritage.

WILL AVOID CONCENTRATION

Ramírez de la O also made it very clear that for the authorities a priority in the sale of Banamex will be to avoid the concentration of operations, so, from the outset, the large banks that already participate in Mexico should be ruled out among the probable bidders, as is the case with HSBC and, of course, with Banorte, and it gives more possibilities to Ricardo Salinas Pliego, who, up to now, is the only one who has already confirmed his interest.

In one of his very sporadic interviews, Ramírez de la O also pointed out that, of course, compliance with fiscal and financial laws will be monitored.

T-MEC TRILATERAL MEETING

The Undersecretary of Foreign Trade, Luz María de la Mora, yesterday had a bilateral virtual meeting with the Deputy Trade Representative of the United States, Jayme White, which, she said, was very positive, although she acknowledged on her Twitter account that some of the issues were addressed. the issues of greatest concern today in the T-MEC: controversies over rules of origin in the automotive sector, fiscal incentives in the Build Back Better initiative, seasonality in agricultural products and, for the first time, he recognized that the energy sector.

Today the trilateral meeting will be held, in which Canada will also participate, which is in the dispute panel on rules of origin.

And just on the eve of this trilateral meeting, Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, sent a letter to Katherine Tai, head of the USR, expressing his concern about the issues on which they believe that Mexico is not complying with its commitments, from child labor in the fields, obstacles to the entry of US potatoes, a modified corn import ban starting in 2024, discriminatory treatment in oil and electricity, weakening of regulatory bodies and lags in the approval of pharmaceutical products.

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