March 4, 2014
The Wall Street Journal, 3/3/14
Citigroup Inc. is seeing the limits of its global reach. The New York bank said Monday it received subpoenas from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and U.S. prosecutors, three days after the bank disclosed it had found allegedly fraudulent billings at its Mexico unit that cost it up to $400 million. A regulatory filing Monday disclosed that Citigroup and related parties—including the U.S. unit of its Mexico business, Banco Nacional de Mexico, or Banamex—have received grand-jury subpoenas issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts tied to anti-money-laundering requirements.
Meanwhile, Citigroup’s exposure to Russia and Ukraine came under the spotlight. The instability in the region hammered stocks and bank stocks in particular. Of major U.S. banks, Citigroup shares fell the most Monday, losing 2.1% to $47.61. So far this year, they are down 8.6%, also last among the big six U.S. banks. Citigroup executives are fond of saying their “large global footprint is an asset, but it’s looking like a liability,” said KBW analyst Brian Kleinhanzl. He pointed to Citigroup’s exposure to places like Argentina, where investors have harbored concerns due to emerging-market volatility.
October 16, 2013
Bloomberg News, 10/15/2013
Citigroup Inc. (C:US), the third-largest U.S. bank, may face more losses on loans to Mexico’s three largest homebuilders as defaults mount and officials of the Latin America nation dash hopes for a bailout.
About half of the $168 million in loan-loss reserves Citigroup set aside in the third quarter for Latin America will be used to cover souring loans made to those firms, Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said today on a conference call. At the end of September, the bank had less than $300 million of the assets, mostly construction loans, he said.
January 18, 2013
Bank 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.
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.
January 11, 2010
Business Week, 1/11/10
Mexico plans to sell $1 billion bonds in the country’s first international offering since its credit rating was cut by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.
Mexico may sell the bonds to yield 5.25 percent as soon as today, said a person familiar with the transaction who declined to be identified because terms aren’t set. Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. are arranging the sale, the government said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Standard & Poor’s lowered Mexico’s rating one level to BBB, the second-lowest investment-grade rating, on Dec. 14, three weeks after Fitch Ratings made the same move, citing a swelling budget deficit. Mexico is the first Latin American country to sell dollar bonds overseas this year as rising investor demand for higher-yielding assets drives down borrowing costs.
December 9, 2009
Wall Street Journal, 12/9/09
Mexican banks will likely grow lending at a faster rate than the economy next year as Mexico bounces back from its worst recession since the 1995 peso crisis, according to a top industry executive.
“We estimate that credit will grow at a rate superior to that of the overall economy, but not reaching the level it had between 2006 and 2008,” Enrique Zorrilla, chief executive of Citigroup Inc. (C) unit Banamex, said at a press conference Tuesday.
Zorrilla said commercial and mortgage lending should post the strongest growth in 2010, while consumer lending will expand at a much more modest pace.
November 4, 2009
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.
October 20, 2009
Financial 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.
March 20, 2009
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.
March 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.