Itaú (NYSE:ITUB) has agreed to pay R$ 710 million (approximately US$ 220 million) for the retail operations of Citibank (NYSE:C) in Brazil. The transaction was announced this morning. Citi primarily serves high-income customers and has 315,000 account holders in the country.
In the acquisition, Itaú acquired loan portfolio, credit cards, deposits, asset management, insurance brokerage and the 71 branches that Citi has today in the main regions of the country. That is R$ 35 billion in deposits and assets under management, 1.1 million credit cards issued and a credit portfolio of R$ 6 billion reais. After the acquisition, Itaú Unibanco will have R$ 1.404 trillion in assets.
The acquisition still needs to receive the approval of the Central Bank and CADE (Administrative Council for Economic Defense)
Citibank joins HSBC in retreating from Brazil. HSBC announced at the end of 2015 that it sold its Brazilian operations to Bradesco. In a deal already approved by anti-trust authorities, Bradesco acquired HSBC and brought their assets closer to Itaú, largest private-controlled bank in Brazil, by that metric. HSBC was a lot bigger than Citi in Brazil, but today's acquisition shows Itaú is not willing to let this largest label go.
Itaú has a 5-star rating from Easy Brazil Investing and continues to be a great way to play the Brazilian economic recovery.
Disclosure: I am/we are long ITUB.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.