MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 30: Mexican's Grupo Salinas chairman Ricardo Salinas Pliego attends "Vargas Llosa: Cultura, Ideas Y Libertad" seminar at Casa de America on March 30, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.
(Photo by Carlos R. Alvarez / WireImage) Carlos R. Alvarez (Getty Images)
Hours after Citigroup's announcement about its exit from retail banking and the listing of Banamex, it already has a bidder. Mexican businessman Ricardo Salinas Pliego has confirmed through his Twitter account his intention to acquire Banamex and its portfolio of more than 20 million clients and more than 1,300 branches in the country. “Let them say how much they want for their changarro and we see, Citibanamex open from 9 to 9, 365 days a year. I have always believed and invested in Mexico and Mexicans. That is why I have asked my team to analyze the convenience of acquiring Citibanamex and to redouble my bet in Mexico, Mexicans and their future ”, the third richest man in the country wrote on his social network.
The owner of Banco Azteca, of Elektra, dedicated to the sale of home appliances in installments, and of the second most watched television in the country, TV Azteca, has generated a wave of reactions after his messages on Twitter. The businessman, who had a fortune of more than 12,500 million dollars according to
already has one foot in the Mexican financial system through Banco Azteca, however, he wants a bigger slice of the cake. Citi's announcement on Tuesday to abandon commercial banking and put Banamex up for sale will imply that the new owner acquires the license, brand, branches, loan portfolio (less corporate banking), afore and insurance company of the third most relevant bank in the world. country. Following the announcement of the sale of the Mexican business, Citigroup shares have gained 2.1% on the New York Stock Exchange.
It is not the first time that Salinas Pliego has expressed its intention to buy Banamex. In January 2015,
assured that the Mexican millionaire was willing to compete with Carlos Hank González -heir of Banorte- to acquire Citibanamex, a company that was born from the acquisition of Banamex by Citigroup in 2001, in that year the bank was sold to Citi at more than $ 12 billion back then.
The owner of Banco Azteca, who uses his networks to criticize the government or the competition as well as to give motivational messages to his million followers, has not been free from the scandal.
In 2005, the United States' Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged the Mexican businessman with fraud, allegedly for hiding $ 109 million in profits.
At the time, Salinas Pliego rejected the accusation and declared that the SEC's accusations were "false, in bad faith and discriminatory."
The Secretary of the Interior (Segob), Adán Augusto López Hernández, rejected this Wednesday at the National Palace that the announcement made by Citigroup to abandon commercial banking in the country is a bad sign of the Mexican economy. “The economy in the country is doing well, in full recovery, it was simply and simply the exercise of a right that a group of investors has. In this case of rethinking their activities in the country, their investment, "he declared in the National Palace.
The official, who is currently replacing López Obrador in the conferences due to his contagion of covid, ruled out that the Executive is interested in acquiring Banamex. "The Government is focused on budgetary efforts for public investment, to the construction of the development of large national projects such as the Dos Bocas refinery, the Mayan Train, the direct of the Itsmico train, the Felipe Angeles airport," he settled.
The Ministry of Finance has made public this Wednesday that Citigroup promptly notified the Mexican tax authorities of his departure. "The president of the group, Jane Fraser, personally came to Mexico to explain this decision, and emphasized that Citigroup will maintain its wholesale corporate banking activities in our country, which will involve new investments," said the secretary of the agency, Rogelio Ramírez de the O.
According to information from the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV), currently four banks hold 61% of financial assets: BBVA, Santander, Banamex –with a 12% stake– and Banorte.
While Banco Azteca, led by Salinas Pliego, has 2.1% of the assets, which is equivalent to about 255,579 million pesos.
It remains to be seen if the controversial message from the Mexican businessman, who already has thousands of reactions, crystallizes into a real offer for the acquisition of a bank with more than a century of history in Mexico.
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