Grupo Financiero Banorte, Mexico's fifth-biggest bank, is contemplating the purchase of all or part of Bancrecer SA, a troubled institution with 1,600 branches that has put itself up for auction.

Robert W. Chandler Jr., Banorte's acting chairman and chief executive, confirmed Thursday in a phone interview from Monterrey that his bank is interested in a cutting a deal. But he also emphasized that it had yet to review the figures and had not bid.

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