Citi plans an initial public offering for its Banamex unit in Mexico, scuttling plans for a potential sale

New York (AFP) - Citi announced Wednesday that it will launch an initial public offering of its Mexican business Banamex, shifting away from a plan to possibly divest the operation.

“After careful consideration, we concluded the optimal path to maximizing the value of Banamex for our shareholders and advancing our goal to simplify our firm is to pivot from our dual path approach to focus solely on an IPO of the business,” said Citi Chief Executive Jane Fraser in a press release.

Since becoming CEO in March 2021, Fraser has overseen a significant pullback of Citi’s consumer banking operations across multiple international markets in a bid to bolster other areas, such as wealth management.

The bank still plans to provide banking services to financial sector clients, private and public institutions and high-net-worth individuals and families in Mexico, Citi said.

Citi expects a separation of the business to be completed in the second half of 2025, with an IPO taking place in 2025, said the Citi press release.

Banamex will retain its 38,000 employees and banking infrastructure, including 1,300 branches and 9,000 ATMs.

Also staying with Banamex will be Banamex’ collection of art treasures, including paintings by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, one of Mexico’s most important private art collections.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had been among those focused on the fate of Banamex after Citi first announced plans to exit Banamex in January 11, insisting that the works remain in Mexico.

Citi’s announcement about Banamex also said the big New York bank would resume share buybacks this quarter.

Shares of Citi rose 2.2 percent to $74.54 in morning trading.