Last Updated on Dec 22, 2021 by Manonmayi

As per CNBC TV 18, on 20 December 2021, the private lender Axis Bank may have been the top bidder for Citibank’s India retail division. Axis Bank is likely to strike an all-cash deal for Citi’s India retail assets. This deal may be for $ 1.5 bn. plus up to $ 300 – 400 mn. in milestone payments based on future performance. 

Though Citibank stated that Axis Bank is winning the acquisition race in response to a CNBC TV18 report, Axis Bank hasn’t released a statement yet. The announcement came amid allegations that, in addition to Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and IndusInd Bank were to acquire Citi’s India retail division. This acquisition involves over 2.5 mn. clients and 1.2 mn. bank accounts. 

According to The Economic Times report, on 7 December 2021, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Axis Bank had emerged as the leading competitors for the contract. The former was apparently the more “aggressive” of the two bids. Additionally, the sale will most likely be entirely cash and for less than $ 2 bn. 

For instance, Citibank has a successful business in India with a loan book of Rs. 68,800 cr. with retail loans accounting for Rs. 28,000 cr. as of March 2021. According to a study issued by investment firm Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA), they mostly comprised credit cards, mortgages, and personal mortgages. 

The same research stated that Citibank is the 6th largest card issuer with a market share of 4.2% of all cards issued. As per CLSA’s assessments, Citibank might hold a credit card book worth Rs. 9,000 cr.

On 16 April 2021, Citibank announced that it will close its consumer/retail operations in 13 Asian and European countries. These are Bahrain, Australia, India, China, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland, Taiwan, Russia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

Credit cards, retail banking, home loans, and wealth management are all part of Citi’s consumer business in India. The bank employs about 4,000 people in its consumer banking division, which has 35 offices around the country.

As of October 2021, it has a 0.6% market share in advances and 1.1% in deposits, with 2.58 mn. credit cards outstanding.