Nearshore Americas

Banco Ficohsa Acquires Citi’s Consumer Banking Unit in Honduras

Banco Ficohsa has acquired the Honduran unit of CitiBank’s consumer banking business in an all-stock deal that will make it the largest bank in the Central American country. The acquisition makes Banco Ficohsa worth about US$339 million, with its asset value increasing to $2.77 billion.

However, the transaction does not include the acquisition of Citi’s Corporate Banking business in the country, such as Banco de Honduras.

“We are not leaving Honduras,” Reina Irene Mejia, Citigroup’s general manager in the nation, said in the statement. “Our strategy is to focus our operations on the corporate-banking business to strengthen our position and continue offering top-level services in the segments where we can offer the most value.”

Citi has been operating in Honduras for the past 48 years. The New York-based lender’s consumer-banking operations have more than 4,000 branches in about 40 countries, according to Bloomberg.

Once the deal is closed, Banco Ficohsa says it will bolster its insurance and credit card services. All 700 people working for Citi will be retained, the Honduran bank affirmed, while the banks will continue operating independently during the regulatory review process.

“We see a long-term future in Honduras as part of our goal to continue growing and consolidating our business in Central America,” said Camilo Atala, Grupo Financiero Ficohsa’s President. The deal creates “much optimism, not just for our operation, but also for the country,” he added.

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With the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and the German and Dutch development funds as minority shareholders, Banco Ficohsa has created an extensive network of services across Honduras, including more than 130 points of service and 420 ATMs. The latest deal will expand that network by 22 additional points of service and 20 ATMs.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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