Citigroup’s Banamex Says Alleged Bad Loans Will Hurt Profit

April 16, 2014

finance-market_dataThe Wall Street Journal, 4/14/14

Citigroup Inc.  ‘s Mexican unit, Grupo Financiero Banamex, said Monday that its first-quarter net profit will be reduced by $112 million due to reserves it has set aside to cover seemingly bad loans to Mexican oil services firms.

The cut comes on top of Citigroup’s move to reduce its fourth-quarter and full-year results by about $235 million after finding allegedly fraudulent billings at its Mexico unit.

Banamex said that the new charge is related to loans it extended to Oceanografía SA de CV, the company that Citigroup accused of fraud in February, as well as from loans to a second oil services firm that appears to have also engaged in fraud.

Citigroup disclosed earlier Monday that the second potential fraud it has uncovered involved less than $30 million in credit. The New York bank declined to reveal the name of the second company. Mexican authorities said Citigroup hasn’t yet filed charges against another oil services firm.

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Mexico bank regulator, Citigroup report second fraud at Banamex

April 15, 2014

banamexReuters, 4/14/14

Citigroup and Mexico’s bank regulator on Monday said they uncovered a second fraud at Citi’s local unit Banamex, as part of a wider investigation following the discovery in February of fraudulent loans to oil services company Oceanografia.

Mexico’s National Bank and Securities Commission (CNBV) said the investigation found another company with under $30 million in fraudulent loans.  Citigroup (C.N) in February said it found $400 million in bad loans at Banamex, Mexico’s No.2 bank by assets, made to Oceanografia and backed by apparently fraudulent invoices to state-owned oil company Pemex.

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Scotiabank to Increase Small Loans in Mexico

January 18, 2013

Bloomberg, 1/18/2013

Pesos by Flickr user AleiexBank of Nova Scotia says it can boost small loans in Mexico as much as 20 percent in a push for business in Latin America, where lending margins are double the Canadian average. Canada’s third-largest bank expects to add to a C$3 billion ($3 billion) micro-loan portfolio with credit to consumers and small businesses ranging from $300 to $3,000. The bank will target clients in the 240 Mexico branches it acquired last year from Citigroup Inc. (C)’s Banamex unit.

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Citigroup and Banamex evaluated presidential candidates, Peña Nieto considered ‘low profile’ [In Spanish]

May 3, 2012

Animal Político, 5/3/2012

Citigroup and Banamex analysts think that Enrique Peña Nieto will be Mexico’s next president, although they also believe that he is a ‘low profile’ candidate.

On February 23rd, a group of Citigroup analysts organized a meeting with investors and the three main presidential candidates, at which each of them had 50 minutes to present their national project and also had to answer questions from the audience. These meetings took part parallel to the 22nd plenary session of Banamex.

After the meetings, Citigroup, the brokerage Accival and the Department of Economic, Political and Social Studies of Banamex put together a document in which the three presidential candidates are evaluated.

Animal Político presents the results of these evaluations here.


Bank Of Mexico Seen Holding Rates Until October 2012 – Survey

August 22, 2011

The Wall Street Journal, 8/22/11

The Bank of Mexico is expected to keep its overnight lending rate target at 4.5% until October 2012 as inflation remains steady and economic growth slows, according to the latest biweekly survey of banks conducted by Citigroup Inc. (C) unit Banamex.

Banamex said Monday that the median estimate of 21 banks was for a quarter-percentage-point increase in the overnight rate in October of next year, compared with May in the previous survey.

The previous survey was released on Aug. 4, the day before Standard & Poor’s cut the U.S. credit rating.

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Banamex: Mexico will receive high levels of investment in 2011 (in Spanish)

January 10, 2011

El Seminario, 1/10/2011

Considerando las altas tasas de interés locales, la fortaleza del peso, las mejores perspectivas que se tienen sobre la economía mundial y los sólidos fundamentales macroeconómicos que presenta México, analistas de Banamex anticipan que nuestro país será un importante receptor de inversión extranjera en este 2011, lo que tendrá un impacto favorable en el tipo de cambio y en los mercados locales de bonos y capitales.

En un reporte publicado hoy por dicho banco, México inicia el 2011 en condiciones económicas favorables, donde pese a que el crecimiento económico es moderado, las finanzas públicas avalan la solvencia de su deuda soberana, el desequilibrio de las cuentas externas es fácilmente financiable, mientras que las reservas internacionales alcanzan niveles récord y nuevamente se tienen mecanismos de cobertura para enfrentar la volatilidad en el precio del petróleo.
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Mexico Senate Asks Supreme Court to Rule on Banamex Bank Case

November 4, 2009

banamexBloomberg, 11/4/09

Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) — Mexico’s Senate asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether the Finance Ministry has authority on its own to permit foreign banks such as Banamex, a unit of Citigroup Inc., to operate in the country.

The request for an opinion addresses the ministry’s decision on March 19 that Banamex, Mexico’s second-largest bank, didn’t run afoul of the country’s ban on foreign-government ownership of banks even after the U.S. government bailed out Citigroup. The Senate approved the petition on Oct. 13.

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Banamex dilemma for Citigroup

October 20, 2009

banamexFinancial Times, 10/20/09

When Washington bailed out Citigroup and other US financial institutions last year, it eventually put the bank’s Mexican subsidiary at the centre of a political storm south of the border.

At the time, rumours were whirling that Citigroup wanted to sell Banamex, one of the stars in its fading galaxy.

Today, those rumours have been replaced by speculation that it may ultimately be forced to sell it.

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Mexico’s Carstens Says U.S. Citigroup Stake Temporary

March 20, 2009

Bloomberg, 3/20/2009

Agustin Carstens

Agustin Carstens

Mexican Finance Minister Agustin Carstens said U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told him the government’s stake in Citigroup Inc. is temporary, a position that will help avoid conflicts with Mexican law.

Carstens said the U.S. bailout of Citigroup has helped strengthen its Mexican unit, Grupo Financiero Banamex SA, and that he thinks the U.S. will relinquish its stake in Citigroup by 2012.

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Mexican Lawmakers Target Citigroup’s Banamex in Bill

March 4, 2009

banamexBloomberg, 3/4/2009

Mexican opposition lawmakers plan to propose a bill that may force Citigroup Inc. to give up control of Grupo Financiero Banamex SA after the U.S. government said it will take a 36 percent stake in the New York-based company.

Under the draft published today in the official Senate gazette, if a foreign government has a stake in a foreign company that owns a Mexican bank, the foreign firm would have to reduce its ownership in the Mexican bank to less than 50 percent within 30 days. Senators from the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, plan to propose the bill.

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