Citigroup announce expansion in China

14 March 2007

Citigroup is planning to hire an extra 1,000 staff in its Chinese divisions throughout 2007 to boost its presence in the territory, according to the bank's head of Chinese operations.

Henry Zhang said the new hires will see Citigroup's Chinese staffing levels rise by a third to 4,000 employees, as the bank looks to expand its commercial banking unit, which will concentrate on loans for small to medium sized enterprise (SME) sector.

Mr Zhang told Reuters: "Our SME business is more than double in 2006 versus 2005 and I believe we can maintain three-digit growth of the business this year and over the next few years.

"As you will get more clients, definitely you need more staff to serve your clients," he added.

The US banking giant also plans to establish a domestic wing called Citigroup China and has designs on the country's state-controlled, highly regulated brokerage sector.

News of Citigroup's expansion strategy comes after the bank's 2006 purchase of a controlling share in Guangdong Development Bank for $3.1 billion.

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