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High Growth Firms in Asia the Target of Citibank Corporate Banking Business

High Growth Firms in Asia the Target of Citibank Corporate Banking Business
As part of its plans to boost corporate banking revenue, winning a bigger share of business from "emerging market champions" in Asia, including rapidly growing Internet firms is the latest strategy and focus of Citigroup Inc looks as reh company is taking steps to sharpen its focus.
Gerald Keefe, the newly appointed head of Asia Pacific corporate banking of the US bank said that Citigroup would make select hirings to bolster its presence in the Asia Pacific region to augment its band of more than 600 people in its corporate banking business in the region as the bank views and counts on Asia as its fastest growing region.
"These companies have achieved scale quickly and now increasingly are growing in developed markets," Keefe said. He was referring to what the bank calls emerging market champions in countries such as China and India.
Creating a new role that brings together bankers working for clients from financial institutions, public sector entities, corporates and local units of global firms, the Citigroup created Asia Pacific corporate banking sector and announced the appointment of Keefe as the head of this section in April.
"One of the priorities in the new role is to deliver stable top-line growth for corporate banking in Asia in an efficient and responsible manner," Keefe told the media. He had previously served as the bank's corporate banking head in Japan.
In recent times, there has been a reduction in revenues from trading and deal advisory and underwriting in the first quarter that weighed on its earnings for the bank and Citigroup's enhanced focus on the corporate banking business in Asia comes against this backdrop of a drop in its business.
The bank's second-quarter net income will be roughly 25 percent lower than the same period a year earlier, indicated Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Mike Corbat last month.
Cash management, foreign exchange, trade finance, loans, and capital markets and structured products solutions are the main products that are offered by the bank under its corporate banking business unit in Asia. Investment banking and markets teams would closely assist the new unit of the bank in its functioning.
According to Thompson Reuters LPC data, for the Chinese Internet giants Alibaba Group, Baidu and Tencent Holdings, which raised a combined $10.4 billion earlier this year, Citigroup was one of the lead arrangers in three separate loan deals. This bit of information clearly indicates the increasing focus of the bank on high-growth firms in the Asia Pacific region.
"We have leading corporate champions in China as our clients ... they are now in many ways global businesses. We are uniquely positioned to help them expand globally with our network in over 100 countries," Keefe said.
Keefe said that since business that range from car component makers to telecoms equipment producers are always on the look out to expand their geographical footprints, the bank is also looking to grow its supply-chain financing business which target these industries in Asia.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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