Citigroup to buy Deutsche Bank license in Mexico for wholesale unit

FILE PHOTO: People walk beneath a Citibank branch logo in the financial district of San Francisco, California

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Citigroup Inc said on Tuesday it would purchase Deutsche Bank’s Mexican license in order to continue its corporate and investment banking operation in the country, following the planned sale of its local retail unit.

Financial details were not disclosed, and Deutsche Bank said it would continue to grow and invest in Mexico through its broker dealer business there.

“The acquisition of this license, which is subject to the receipt of all regulatory approvals, facilitates the pursuit of our consumer exit and ability to continue our institutional operations in Mexico,” Citi said in a statement to Reuters.

Citi Chief Executive Jane Fraser announced the Mexican retail unit was up for sale at the beginning of the year, and a buyer is expected to be named by the end of 2022 or beginning of 2023.

Mexican corporate titans Carlos Slim and German Larrea are the top bidders for the unit, valued anywhere between $7 billion and $12 billion, sources told Reuters.

The purchase of Deutsche Bank’s license allows Citi to sidestep the lengthy process of independently applying for its own, once the split is complete.

The retail operation will become known as Banco Nacional de Mexico, or Banamex, while the wholesale unit will be called Citi Mexico, Citi’s country chief said in September.

Deutsche Bank said it would still do business in Mexico.

“Deutsche Bank is committed to deliver our global emerging markets platform to all of our client base through our Mexico broker dealer entity,” the bank said.

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar in New York and Kylie Madry in Mexico City; Editing by Richard Chang and Mark Potter)