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Mexican banking: Slim sets sights on Banamex

What does the future hold for Mexico’s Banamex, which Citi owns? Although the US bank claims that Banamex is important to its recovery, after its sub-prime losses, many bankers and analysts in Mexico are sceptical. Speculation is rife about the future of the bank.

"I think everything is likely right now and I really don’t think a sale can be ruled out," says Alejandro García, a senior banking analyst at Fitch Ratings in Mexico.

Another source questions the motives of new board members at Citi and whether they will push for a sale. "These new board members have no strong allegiance to Citi, or Citi’s history in Mexico. They are going to take whatever steps are necessary to secure Citi’s position in the US," says the source.

Citi says the bank remains committed to Banamex. "Citi’s international footprint is a unique and competitive advantage and an essential part of our growth strategy. Mexico is one of our top-four leading emerging markets and, through its universal banking model, has very stable revenues.

In this sense, Latin America and Mexico are focus regions for Citi. Banamex is an important part of our global franchise and we are committed to this excellent business."

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