Mexico’s president wants Mexicans to buy Citigroup unit

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated on Thursday that he hopes Mexican businessmen will purchase Citigroup’s local unit.

“We would like this bank to be Mexicanized,” the president stated in a social media post, arguing that foreign bankers frequently take profits abroad rather than reinvesting them in Mexico.

Citigroup, the world’s largest bank, announced on Tuesday that it will sell its Citibanamex retail banking operations in Mexico as part of a global strategy to concentrate on the corporate market.

Given his sometimes tight, sometimes tense relationships with two Mexican business magnates, López Obrador’s remark is sure to be scrutinized. Ricardo Salinas Pliego, a retail and banking entrepreneur, said on Twitter that he was considering a bid for the bank. The smaller Banco Azteca is already run by Salinas Pliego.

“I have always believed in and invested in Mexico and Mexicans,” Salinas Pliego wrote. “For that reason, I have asked my team to analyze the advisability of acquiring Citibanamex, and doubling down my bet on Mexico, Mexicans and their future.”

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