By Kylie Madry and Isabel Woodford
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Citigroup <C.N> Chief Executive Jane Fraser is planning to meet with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a government spokesperson told Reuters on Friday, amid the bank’s attempt to finalize the sale of its local unit.
Fraser will be in Mexico in the “first week of February” during a planned visit with her leadership team, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
A spokesperson for Lopez Obrador, Jesus Ramirez, said he did not have further details on the meeting, and said it was subject to final confirmation.
Citi declined to comment.
The planned meeting comes as Citi aims to sell its Mexican unit, Banamex, as part of the company’s planned withdrawal of its retail services in the country after 20 years, first announced last January.
Two bidders, which sources told Reuters were Mexican conglomerate Grupo Mexico and Banca Mifel, are vying for Citi’s local unit, Lopez Obrador said in December.
In an earnings call earlier this month, Fraser said she was bullish about institutional interest in Mexico.
“As you can imagine, in today’s environment, Mexico is key for many of our corporate clients around the world for their supply chains. And we play a very important role there,” she said.
Regarding the planned sale of Citi’s retail unit, Fraser said she was “extremely pleased” with the progress being made, and reiterated that the company was still pursuing the “dual tracks” of an initial public offering if no sale was agreed upon.
Citi executives previously circled January 2023 as the proposed date for finalizing the deal.
Fraser has moved to simplify the Wall Street giant, announcing plans to shrink Citi’s overseas footprint and exit non-core consumer markets, including Bahrain, China and India over the past 12 months.
(Reporting by Kylie Madry and Isabel Woodford; Editing by Stephen Eisenhammer, Cassandra Garrison and Leslie Adler)