Egypt’s CIB eyeing Citigroup’s retail operations

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s Commercial International Bank (CIB) said on Wednesday Citigroup had opened its books for a due diligence process that could lead to the purchase of its retail portfolio.Citigroup said it is pulling out of consumer banking in 11 markets, including Japan and Egypt, as the U.S. bank with the biggest international business looks to cut persistently high costs.The third-largest U.S. bank, built with a series of acquisitions spanning back to the 1980s, has been trying to slim down since the financial crisis to be as profitable as rivals. It has shed hundreds of billions of dollars of bad assets.”There can be no assurance that discussions between CIB and CITI will result in any specific transaction, and it is possible that no transaction will occur,” said CIB in a statement.Egypt’s stock exchange said last month it had approved a request by CIB to raise its capital by 2.294 billion Egyptian pounds ($300 million).The country’s largest listed bank plans to increase its capital to 11.470 billion Egyptian pounds.

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