February 18, 2016 / 5:48 PM / in 2 years

Citigroup plans to exit retail banking in Argentina, Brazil - Bloomberg

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N) plans to exit retail banking in Argentina and Brazil, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The building of a Citibank branch is seen at Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo's financial center in this September 13, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/Files

The plan to exit the businesses will "probably" be announced in coming weeks, Bloomberg reported, citing the source. (bloom.bg/1SUDNRA)

The bank won’t be exiting any lines of business in the institutional division as part of the new moves, another person told Bloomberg.

Liz Fogarty, a spokeswoman for the Wall Street bank, declined to comment.

Citi operates in 25 cities in Argentina and 26 in Brazil, according to its website.

Brazil is in the second year of a severe economic recession, while the Argentinian economy has been under stress due to restrictions barring it from accessing international capital markets for years.

Citi, which has operated in both Argentina and Brazil for more than 100 years, has been scaling back its consumer banking operations in some of the world’s major cities, pulling out from markets where it does not have enough branches to be competitive.

The bank’s shares, which have fallen more than 23 percent this year, were down 2.3 percent at $38.87 in afternoon trading on Thursday.

Reporting By Sudarshan Varadhan and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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