mergers and acquisitions

BPI eyes acquiring Citi’s Philippine retail business

Ralf Rivas
BPI eyes acquiring Citi’s Philippine retail business
If a deal is reached, BPI would almost double its retail business, as Citi is among the leading credit card issuers

Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is looking at acquiring Citi’s retail business, as the foreign bank announced its exit from the Philippines.

In a briefing on Thursday, April 22, BPI chief executive officer Jose Teodoro “TG” Limcaoco said they find Citi’s portfolio and client base attractive.

“We have always been admirers of Citi’s retail business. It is an excellent franchise, and for the longest time, we have always looked at it, but we never believed Citibank would give up on the Philippines,” Limcaoco said.

“As soon as there is any information, we will take a look at it and most likely, we will be interested.”

BPI executive vice president Marie Josephine Ocampo noted that Citi’s portfolio quality, talent, and technology would mesh well with BPI’s retail business.

She added that Citi is currently 3rd or 4th in the credit card business in the country.

“Adding this (Citi’s) portfolio to BPI’s, we will almost double the BPI business,” Ocampo said.

Limcaoco said that once BPI sees Citi’s plans, they may likely fund it internally, citing the bank’s adequate capital ratios.

The American-led Citigroup announced on April 15 that it is bowing out from the Philippines and 12 other markets, due to lower card revenues and lower deposit spreads.

Citi Philippines earlier said all credit card and account holders will continue to be serviced for the meantime until it announces any changes. –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.