Six banks have requested to acquire Citigroup’s retail business in Egypt, with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) on top of the acquisition discussions, a Citibank Egypt official told Daily News Egypt Saturday.
The official, who requested anonymity, said the offers are still being discussed, noting that there is no deadline for the discussions.
The Commercial International Bank (CIB) announced in April that the management decided to submit a binding offer to acquire Citibank’s offered retail portfolio.
“There can be no assurance that submitting the offer will result in any specific transaction, and it is possible that no transaction will occur,” CIB said in a statement.
In March, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank announced that it was shortlisted to buy the retail business of the American Citibank. UAE’s The National newspaper quoted the bank’s CEO as saying that Citibank is an advantage as they have more than 100,000 credit cards.
Also Dubai’s third-biggest lender by assets, Mashreq Bank, announced in January its intention to acquire Citibank Egypt’s retail business, Mashreq CEO Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair said in January.
The Citibank official mentioned that Emirates NBD is also aspiring to acquire the aforementioned business.
In October 2014, Citigroup announced its intension to exit its Egyptian consumer business, alongside its businesses in 10 other countries. This forms part of the company’s strategic actions to accelerate the transformation of Global Consumer Banking (GCB).
It said that these steps will focus on the markets that have the “greatest scale and growth potential”.
“This strategic action is consistent with Citi’s global strategy of allocating resources to higher return opportunities,” said General Manager of Citi Egypt Nadir Shaikh. “Egypt is an important market for Citi which will continue to serve clients of its institutional businesses.”
“During this time, there will be no change in the way Citi serves its consumer banking customers. Consumer operations, including all branches and offices, will continue to operate as they do today,” Shaikh added.
Shaikh also said that Citi’s Institutional Clients Group will continue to operate in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions, including Egypt.
Citigroup said that the affected businesses include consumer franchises in Costa Rica, Czech Republic, El-Salvador, Guam, Guatemala, Hungary, Japan, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru, and the consumer finance business in Korea.