Citi's Mexican operations suffer amid fraud

|By:, SA News Editor

The top underwriter in peso-denominated bonds last year with an 18% market share, Citigroup's (C +0.2%) Banamex has fallen to fifth place with just a 9% share in 2014, according to Bloomberg. As recently as February, Citi was still in first place, but then the loan-fraud was discovered. The bank has slipped from first to sixth in dollar-denominated bonds by Mexican issuers as well.

“The effort to impose a big increase in internal controls is one that is clearly very labor-intensive," says finance professor and former Goldmanite Roy Smith, though a Banamex spokesman says Citi fails to see a connection between the fraud and the slide in underwriting. “We are confident that to end the year we’re going to be at same levels in terms of numbers of transactions that we had last year and in previous years."

Banamex is Mexico's 2nd-largest bank by loans and Citi's largest emerging market operation. It has finished 1st or 2nd in bond underwriting every year since 2006.