Mexico president urges Mexican investors to bid for Citi assets
MEXICO CITY, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday he would welcome Mexican investors bidding in the sale of U.S. bank Citigroup's(C.N) consumer banking operations in Mexico, making a pitch for the assets to become Mexican again.
"We can turn it into something very good, if, without authoritarian measures, it's possible to Mexicanize this bank," Lopez Obrador said in a video address from his office, where he is recovering from a COVID-19 infection.
Lopez Obrador welcomed the fact Mexican tycoon Ricardo Salinas had shown interest in the assets.
He then said other prominent business figures, including billionaire Carlos Slim and Carlos Hank Gonzalez, chairman of the board of Grupo Financiero Banorte(GFNORTEO.MX), could also be bidders.
Citigroup said on Tuesday it will exit its Citibanamex consumer banking business in Mexico, ending its 20-year retail presence in the country that was the last of its overseas consumer businesses.
Lopez Obrador said bidding was not closed to foreign investors, but underlined that "we would like this bank to become Mexican." The president said foreign shareholders tended not to reinvest in the country.