Citi expands Asian desks to Africa and Latin America

The bank’s Chinese and Korean clients now have dedicated relationship teams spanning most of the world.


Citi is planning to open six more China and Korea desks outside the region to help service corporate clients as they expand their horizons in search of resources and markets.

The new desks will be opened during the next year, comprising four China desks — in Africa, Latin America, Russia and Southeast Asia — and two Korean desks in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Citi already has 13 other China and Korea desks around the world, providing clients from these countries with a dedicated service across corporate banking, investment banking, local debt raising, foreign exchange, cash management and trade finance.

The move is part of Citi’s continuing plan to focus on the region’s leading clients and to capitalise on their rapid growth on the world stage. According to the bank’s research, Asia's biggest companies doubled their share of global revenues during the past seven years.

“Our clients are increasingly growing globally and our priority is to ensure they are using Citi’s global network and local knowledge as they expand and transact business across the world,” says Farhan Faruqui, head of corporate and investment banking for Asia Pacific. “The desk strategy has been successful in deepening the relationships with Asian multinational clients.”

Citi says the desks contributed to growth of around 20% in corporate banking revenues in Asia during 2012.

The new desks will be staffed by a combination of local employees and staff from China and Korea with existing relationships with key clients such as Samsung, Huawei and Lenovo, says Citi.

The Africa desk will be based in Lagos, Nigeria, while the others are yet to be determined.

Citi currently has seven China desks and six Korean desks. The China desks are in London, New York, Algiers, Dubai, Johannesburg, Singapore and Hong Kong. The Korea desks are in New York, Bratislava, Moscow, Beijing, Chennai and Shanghai.

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