US giant Citibank is taking its time to pick the best buyer among the banks that have made a bid for its retail and consumer banking assets in the Philippines.
Citi Asia Pacific head for media relations James Griffiths said the US lender is hoping to get a buyer onboard in the first half of next year.
“We don’t want to put a specific time (to conclude the sale). We did say back in April that we plan to conclude this or get a deal announced by the second quarter of 2022. As far as we’re concerned (in terms) of the timeline, we’re very much on track,” said Griffiths.
Interested parties submitted their bids last October.
Griffiths didn’t name the bidders but four of the country’s biggest banks — BDO Unibank, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., Bank of the Philippine Islands and Union Bank of the Philippines earlier expressed their interest in the Philippine retail and consumer banking businesses of Citibank.
“We’re going to choose the bank that fits the best outcome for us, for our staff and our clients. There’s been plenty of speculations locally about which bank has bid for the assets and there’s been a broad range of buyers. But, we will choose the buyer that makes the best sense to take our business forward in the best way,” Griffiths said
Apart from the Philippines, Citigroup is selling its consumer banking business in 12 other Asia-Pacific markets to allow it to concentrate on wealth management.