Citigroup makes Vietnam deal

Citigroup has made a deal with Vietnam's Eastern Asia Commercial Bank (EAB) to jointly develop business opportunities in Vietnam, the banks have announced.

In exchange for EAB's cooperation and support in the joint ventures, Citigroup will offer the Vietnamese bank training in consumer and corporate banking, as well as providing access to its global card network.

Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Citigroup's Asia Pacific unit, said that the agreement was important because he saw Vietnam as a "high priority market", while the services offered to EAB would help foster closer relations with the Vietnamese market.

"We view this agreement as a first step in building a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship, which combines the local knowledge, expertise and management vision of EAB with Citigroup's international reach, broad product range and resources," he said.

It is not clear, however, whether the deal will involve Citigroup taking a stake in EAB, which has a significant market presence in Vietnam, with 60 branches and two units dealing in securities and foreign exchange.

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