MANILA -- UnionBank is in discussion with Citigroup Inc. for the "potential" acquisition of Citi's consumer banking business in the Philippines, it said Thursday.
Citigroup in April said it would exit from 13 markets to focus on wealth management and institutional businesses.
"The discussions between the bank and Citi are at a preliminary stage," the Aboitiz-led bank said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.
UnionBank said any transaction would be subject to the completion of due diligence as well as approval by the regulators, among others.
"Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the transaction will be completed at this stage," it said.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said it was closely monitoring the development. It is also working with Citi for a "smooth" transition, the central bank said.
Citi Philippines, meanwhile, has assured existing clients that there would be no immediate change in the retail business operations in the country.
Citigroup will trim its consumer banking business in the Philippines, China, India, Australia, Bahrain, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia,Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
-- a report from Agence France-Presse