Citibank seeks to sell its credit card business for as much as Rs4,000 cr
03 May 2021
Citibank which closed its retail banking operations in India, China and 11 other countries across Asia and Europe to concentrate on its US operations, is demanding up to Rs4,000 crore for selling its credit card business, which it claims to have 2.9 million users in India.
Recently, Citibank announced the closing down of consumer banking operations in 13 countries, including India, China, Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain, Korea, Indonesia, Russia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Poland and Taiwan.
Citi, however, is yet to find a buyer as, according to reports, a search by an internal team and investment bankers of Citibank despite contacting several companies in the last few weeks. These include Reliance, Pine Labs and Paytm, although the payment company denied any serious talk between the two over the sale of the credit card business.
Reports have indicated that local banks such as DBS, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank, Tata Capital, Axis Bank, IDFC First Bank, and ICICI Bank are already in the race to uy the whole India consumer business of Citi Bank, although pricing is a difficult process.
Reliance is reported to be conducting an internal evaluation in view of the risks involved in making such huge investment in the current scenario.
Citi Bank is the sixth-largest card issuer in India, and has a mix of premium and corporate salary account cards in its portfolio. As of 31 March 2021, the bank has around 35 branches in the country and deposits of Rs1.6 lakh crore.