Rescue aside, Citi still needs to figure out how big it wants to be, and what businesses it makes sense to get rid of. There was a report this weekend in the Telegraph that HSBC was looking to buy Citi businesses in Asia and Latin America. Citi probably doesn’t want to give up business in areas primed for future growth, but it’s not in the best negotiating position.
Anyway, HSBC has confirmed its interest, though it doesn’t sound very advanced:
Bloomberg: HSBC Holdings Plc Chairman Stephen Green said the London-based bank would consider buying the “right” assets of Citigroup Inc., as the U.S. bank faces the threat of a breakup or sale.
“It would depend,” Green said in an interview at the Confederation of British Industry conference in London today. “We have a clear strategy to develop our business with a primary focus on emerging markets, and that means Asia, the Middle East and Latin America,” he said. “We will not acquire things that do not fit in with our strategy. Where something fits,” HSBC would look at it, he added.
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