It’s been quite some time since Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) has been executing various strategic initiatives to shed international operations. Continuing with the same strategy, the bank has decided to reduce its presence in markets like Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia.
Insights of Matter
Reports claim that Citigroup intends to vend credit card and retail banking operations in these locations by transferring them from Citicorp to Citi Holdings. The changes will be effective from 1Q2016. As a result of this decision, Citi Holdings will get additional $6 billion in consumer business assets. Many analysts showed their concerns that this transfer may affect Citigroup’s net income of 2015, but the company has cleared that nothing like that would happen.
Even though the company has announced to close down consumer businesses in Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia, it will continue to focus on institutional and corporate clients in the future as well. The primary reason that forced the bank to take such a critical decision at this point was the increasing regulatory pressure on its global operations. It has been struggling to generate positive returns for an extended period, which worked as a driving force and prompted Citigroup to take such a decision.
The senior management of Citigroup believes that this decision will help it increasing the overall efficiency by optimizing footprints and streamlining operations across different geographies. The economies of Argentina and Brazil are under tremendous pressure, and Citigroup doesn’t intend to burn its fingers anymore. Rather than spending resources in such locations, it plans to focus on those sites that are potentially productive and have excellent opportunities or Citigroup businesses.
Michael Corbat, CEO, Citigroup, said that company’s consumer businesses in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia was of supreme quality; however, it’s good to focus more on institutional business in the future. He further added that Citigroup would continue to make such strategic moves in the future to add maximum value to shareholders investments.