Itau Unibanco Holding SA has no plans in bidding for Citigroup Inc’s. retail-banking operations in Mexico, as per individuals familiar to the matter. Analysts, for example, Jorge Corrie of Morgan Stanley wrote on Wednesday that Itaú may be intrigued, and previous Itaú CEO and current co-chair Roberto Setúbal had said in 2014 that the Sao Paulo-based bank would think about retailing in Mexico. Individuals said the situation in Itau currently is unique, as are the plans.
“Our focus today is on improving operations where we already have one,” Itaú CEO Milton Mallohy said in June 2021 during the company’s investor day. “Investing in places where we already have related operations, but without the ambition to grow beyond what we have today.”
Itai declined to comment on the matter.
Citigroup announced Tuesday that it plans to exit its consumer and small and medium-sized business banking operations in Mexico as Jane Fraser, CEO, is reviewing the New York-based company’s strategy. Citigroup, which will maintain its corporate business in the country, said exiting the deposit-taking business in Mexico could take the form of a sale or alternative in the public market.
In June 2016, less than two years after expanding its operations in Mexico, Itau reached an agreement to sell the brokerage and focus on Latin American countries where It has a larger presence amid a decline in stock sales. Also in 2016, the Brazilian Bank cut its corporate and investment banking presence there.
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