March 26, 2015 / 6:15 AM / 4 years ago

Central American financial group buys Citibank's Nicaraguan unit

A Citibank ATM is seen in Los Angeles, California, March 10, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Financial group Grupo Financiero Ficohsa (GFF) has acquired Banco Citibank de Nicaragua SA and Cititarjetas de Nicaragua SA to expand in Central America, the group said on Wednesday.

“It (the acquisition) also allows us to enter a country with great potential for growth, with a robust and well-positioned operation,” said Camilo Atala, president of Grupo Financiero Ficohsa.

This is the second acquisition of Citi’s operations in Central America for GFF, a financial group of Honduran capital with headquarters in Panama. Last year, GFF bought Banco Citibank and Cititarjetas in Honduras.

GFF didn’t specify the cost of the transaction, but said that at the end of 2014, Citi’s Nicaragua operations consisted of $255 million in total assets, $197 million in deposits, a loan portfolio of $171 million, and a net worth of $46 million.

The deal still has to be approved by regulators in Nicaragua and Panama, GFF said in a statement.

Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Writing by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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