Citi has appointed Batara Sianturi as country officer for the Philippines, replacing Sanjiv Vohra, who is leaving the bank after almost eight years running things in Manila and 26 years with Citi.
Vohra is returning to his native India, though not, as he might have once hoped, to run Citi’s operation there. That job remains with Pramit Jhaveri, another long-time Citi banker.
Before taking over in the Philippines in 2005, Vohra had risen through the ranks of Citi’s India business after joining in 1986. He became head of the corporate bank in India in 2002.
Sianturi is currently country officer for Hungary, as well as being responsible for 12 other countries in the Balkan and Baltic regions. He will report to Michael Zink, Asean head and country officer for Singapore.
He joined Citi in Indonesia as a management associate in 1988 and has held a number of positions in consumer audit, operations and finance, including senior positions in both Indonesia and Australia, before moving to Hungary in 2005, where he became country officer in 2007.
Subject to regulatory approval, he will take up the position, which also includes responsibility for Guam, on June 1.
He is taking over a strong business. Vohra drove record success for the franchise, having joined at a time of political crisis in the Philippines. He oversaw the re-opening of the convertible market for local borrowers in 2005 through SM Investments’ $300 million debut, as well as Citi’s role on the innovative $1 billion-equivalent global peso bond deal for the Republic of the Philippines in 2010 — both landmark deals for the local market. He also launched Citi’s equity research platform in Manila.
Citi is also enjoying a resurgence across its entire Asia business, having just reported strong earnings for the first quarter — revenues of $4 billion, up 13% on the previous quarter, with profit jumping 52% to $446 million and now accounting for close to 30% of Citi’s global profit.
The securities and banking business led the charge, with a 471% rise in profits on the back of better flow business across fixed income and equities, a record first quarter for bond underwriting and the closing of Cnooc’s $17 billion merger with Nexen.