Citigroup ‘in talks with Audi Bank’

Citigroup ‘in talks with Audi Bank’

ISTANBUL - Reuters
Citigroup ‘in talks with Audi Bank’

Citibank is set to sell consumer banking branches in five countries. EPA Photo

Citigroup is in talks with Lebanon’s Audi Bank on the sale of its consumer banking unit in Turkey, part of the U.S.-based bank’s plan to rationalise its global businesses, senior banking sources said.

Audi’s Turkish unit Odeabank is interested in acquiring Citibank A.S.’s branches to expand in one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies, a top Turkish banking executive with knowledge of the talks told Reuters late last week.

Claims over HSBC

Citigroup, the third-biggest U.S. bank, said last week it would cut 11,000 jobs worldwide to save as much as $1.1 billion a year in costs and that the plan included selling or cutting back its consumer operations in Turkey.

Newspaper Vatan said on Monday HSBC, which already operates HSBC A.S., a major bank in Turkey with 333 branches, is also interested in Citibank’s Turkish branches.
Besides Citibank AS, the New York-based lender also owns a 10 percent stake in Akbank, Turkey’s third-biggest non-state lender.

Citibank has not said it plans to sell its remaining Akbank stake.