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Citi CEO rules out Banamex sale

CEO Michael Corbat maintainedthat the company is not considering a sale of its Mexican operations, despite thecompany's move to exit retail banking in several other Latin American countries.

During a July15 conference call, one analyst asked the executive under what circumstances thebank would consider selling its Mexican operations, which include .

In response,Corbat noted that management is bullish on Mexico's demographics and growth prospects,as well as on Banamex's ability to compete in the country given the scale of itsretail and consumer franchise.

"Growthin the world is a pretty tough thing to find. We think Mexico offers that,"Corbat said according to a transcript of the call. "We think it's accretiveto our shareholders, the returns are solid. And we think we've got the ability tocontinue to expand those. So right now, I really don't see it [as] an area wherewe would contemplate selling."

During the call,Citi CFO John Gerspach noted that the bank saw "improved momentum" inits Mexican retail banking operations during the final month of the second quarter,leading the bank to post a 4% rise in consumer revenues year over year.

"That washigher than what we had thought that was going to be," Gerspach added.

In March, U.S.-basedinvestment bank Keefe Bruyette & Woods recommendedthat Citigroup sell Banamex's consumer business, Banco Nacional de México SA, to "unlock value"for shareholders.