Citi gives Usman Ahmed top investment banking job in the Philippines

Citi has appointed Usman Ahmed as its new head of corporate and investment banking in the Philippines. He is replacing Kristine Braden who is leaving Asia to take on the role as global subsidiaries group head in Europe.

Usman Ahmed

Ahmed spent 12 years with Citi in Dubai, London, Bahrain and Pakistan before he left to join Barclays for three years. He returned to Citi last year as Asia-Pacific head of global Islamic banking and chief operating officer for Asia-Pacific corporate banking.

He will continue to head up the firm’s Islamic banking business in the region even as he takes on his new responsibilities in the Philippines. His successor as COO will be announced shortly, Citi said in a release.

Ahmed, who is currently based in Hong Kong, will move to the Philippines to take up his new job. He will report to Tracey Woon, in her role as head of corporate and investment banking for Asean (she is also head of global banking for Singapore), and to Sanjiv Vohra, Citi’s country officer for the Philippines.

In the release, Vohra noted that Ahmed’s “extensive expertise across products and coverage in various geographies will further strengthen the [bank’s] capabilities to deliver for [its] clients” in the Philippines.

While at Barclays, Ahmed was head of corporate banking coverage and products for emerging markets across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, and during his previous 12 years with Citi, he held various roles within corporate banking and capital markets, including CEO of global Islamic banking and director of fixed-income credit markets in London.

A quick glance at Ahmed’s CV suggests that much of his past experience is in fixed-income, but that may be an advantage in the Philippines, since a large portion of the deals targeting international investors out of there are indeed debt deals.

Citi is represented by its entire franchise in the Philippines, from retail banking to corporate and investment banking and is leveraging on its global network to execute transactions for all types of clients, including top-tier corporations, financial institutions and the Philippine sovereign, it said in the release.

According to Dealogic data, quoted by Citi in the release, the bank has helped raise more than $10 billion for Philippine clients in the international capital markets during the past two years. In January it was a joint bookrunner for the Republic of the Philippines’ latest global bond, a $1.5 billion 25-year deal; and last year it was a joint bookrunner for the first dollar hybrid out of the Philippines, a $200 million perpetual non-call five bond for International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI). It was also involved in ICTSI’s $150 million tap of the same bonds in January this year and was the sole financial adviser to the Philippine ports operator on its acquisition of a 35% stake in Pakistan International Container Terminal.

It also advised San Miguel on the sale of its 60% stake in Bank of Commerce to Malaysia’s CIMB earlier this month.

On the equity side it helped SM Investments Corp to raise $250 million from the sale of convertible bonds in February and in 2010 it was a joint bookrunner on Cebu Air’s $611 million IPO, which in US dollar terms ranks as the biggest listing in the Philippines ever.


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