Mexico’s Banorte said on Friday that “non-disclosure agreements” had been signed as a preliminary step toward a possible bid for Citigroup’s Citibanamex subsidiary even as the Mexican lender targets organic growth with the planned launch of a digital bank.
Shares in Banorte were up more than 7%, hitting a two-week high after the company also delivered better-than-expected earnings and executives said the lender is seeking approval from regulators to launch a digital bank.
Chief Executive Marcos Ramirez Miguel said Banorte is fighting “for an even playing field” versus startups.
Banorte will present a proposal to its board and shareholders if it views terms regarding Citibanamex as “convenient,” Miguel said. Analysts have said they expect several banks could be interested in making an offer.
Banorte Chief Operations Officer Rafael Arana declined to say whether Citi’s “data room,” in which it would define sale terms, had already opened.
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