Cit­i­group to exit retail bank­ing in Brazil, Ar­gentina

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Cit­i­group Inc said it plans to exit its retail bank­ing and credit card op­er­a­tions in Brazil, Ar­gentina and Colom­bia as part of its ef­forts to cut costs and boost prof­itabil­ity.

Shares of the bank, which has op­er­ated in Ar­gentina and Brazil for more than a cen­tury, were down 1.3 per­cent at $38.40 in early trad­ing on Fri­day.

The US bank, built with a se­ries of ac­qui­si­tions dat­ing back to the 1980s, has been try­ing to slim down since the fi­nan­cial cri­sis to be as prof­itable as its ri­vals.

Barely six months into his ten­ure as the chief ex­ec­u­tive, Michael Cor­bat counted at least 21 mar­kets with ex­cep­tion­ally low re­turns on as­sets and sub­stan­dard op­er­at­ing ef­fi­ciency as can­di­dates for re­struc­tur­ing.

The Wall Street bank, like its peers, has had to re­sort to ag­gres­sive cost con­trols as near-zero in­ter­est rates, a slump in oil prices and in­vestor cau­tious­ness due to wor­ries about slow­ing growth in China have hurt its rev­enue growth.

Citi's con­sumer busi­ness ac­counts for about half of the com­pany and is heav­ily weighted to­wards U.S. credit cards.

Citi ex­ec­u­tives have been par­ing the com­pany's in­ter­na­tional con­sumer bank­ing op­er­a­tions since at least 2012.

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