Mexico president says two bidders remaining for Citi’s local retail bank

The logo of Citibanamex is pictured at a bank branch in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday there are two remaining parties bidding to buy the Mexican retail arm of U.S. banking giant Citigroup .

Lopez Obrador expects the bid for one of Mexico’s biggest banks to be resolved in the beginning of 2023, he said during a regular news conference.

Sources have told Reuters billionaire German Larrea’s conglomerate Grupo Mexico is battling Daniel Becker’s smaller Banca Mifel to buy the lender.

Larrea has the necessary resources to acquire the unit – known as Banamex – and may be willing to pay a little more for a brand in a sector where he has no presence, analysts say.

But sources told Reuters that Mifel has meanwhile lined up investors including Apollo Global Management and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) to fund its bid.

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Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser has been looking to simplify the firm by selling off some its international operations.

(Reporting by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Sarah Morland)