UPDATE 2-Citi investing another $1 bln in renamed Mexico unit Citibanamex

martes 4 de octubre de 2016 13:07 GYT

(Recasts with further description of investment, analyst quote, stock price)

By David Henry

Oct 4 (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc is investing another $1 billion in its Mexican bank and renaming it Citibanamex in the strongest signal from management that the business is worth keeping for the long run.

New York-based Citigroup said on Tuesday that the investments will be completed by 2020 and will improve digital tools, ATMs and branches.

The new funds come in addition to Citi's 2014 commitment to invest $1.5 billion in the business, formerly known as Banco Nacional De México, or Banamex.

"These investments in Citibanamex reaffirm our commitment to Mexico and our confidence in its prospects," Citigroup CEO Mike Corbat said in the announcement.

Corbat's decision is a rebuttal to calls by some investors and stock analysts for Citigroup to consider selling Banamex. Some large Citigroup investors have privately questioned the wisdom of keeping Banamex after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has roused sentiment for restrictions on trade and travel with Mexico that could hurt the economy there.

Banamex contributes about 15 percent of Citigroup's global consumer revenue, which makes Mexico second only to the United States in importance. It also earns about 15 percent return on shareholder equity, significantly better than Corbat's goal of at least 10 percent for the whole bank.

Citigroup said the investments will be directed to five areas: digital banking, information technology, branches and ATMs. It will add 2,500 new ATMs to the 7,500 it has now.   Continuación...