Banking Crisis

Brazil Government Ministers At Odds Over Citigroup

Tom Burroughes Editor London 25 November 2009

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Top officials in the Brazilian government appeared to be at odds over whether Citigroup had offered to sell up some of its business to the administration, according to a report by Reuters.

The Brazilian government never received an offer by Citigroup for Brazil to buy part its business, said Finance Minister Guido Mantega was quoted as saying by the news agency yesterday. His comments came after the nation’s energy minister, Edison Lobao, told a seminar in New York that Citigroup offered a stake in the bank to the Brazilian government early this year when it was seeking capital to survive the financial crisis.

The comments highlight how potential government purchases of banks remain a sensitive issue in different parts of the world in the wake of multi-billion state bailouts of many leading Western banking groups, including Citigroup.

Brazil, meanwhile, is seen as hotspot for the wealth management sector. Brazil has been one of the fastest growing private banking markets in the world and is suffering a less severe economic downturn than most countries. In the past few weeks, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup have also announced plans to boost their wealth businesses in the country.

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