Citigroup 'to expand across Asia'

4 February 2010

Citigroup is planning to extend its operations across Asia, the bank's chief executive officer Vikram Pandit has said.

The Asian market has been one of the few bright spots in recent times for the troubled bank, which recently reported fourth quarter losses of $7.6 billion.

Its Asian operations have bucked the overall trend, delivering $4.5 billion in profits for Citigroup across 2009.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr Pandit said that Citigroup plans to expand its retail banking operations across the region, while maintaining its stake in various Chinese and Indian lenders.

"A big part of Citicorp is our emerging-market franchise and Asia-Pacific is a substantial part of it," he said.

"You will see us expanding across Asia-Pacific this year."

Earlier this week, a company insider told Bloomberg that Citigroup is planning to divest itself of its private equity unit, which is valued at $10 billion.

The bank is coming under increasing pressure from US regulators to reduce its size.

By Gary Cooper

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