Citigroup looks to expand in Germany

30 March 2007

Citigroup is planning to make acquisitions in the German investment banking market, according to a recent newspaper report.

Sue Harnett, head of German operations at Citigroup, has told Reuters that the US banking giant is "watching the German market very carefully" and could bid for some of the biggest operators in the country.

News of Citigroup's intentions is likely to surprise market analysts after the bank announced earlier this week that it would be looking to impose a series of cost-cutting measures to reduce increased operating costs as part of a rethink of strategy that could see the loss of 15,000 jobs worldwide.

Ms Harnett told Reuters: "You have to separate the cost review with mergers and acquisitions [M&A]. The corporation I work for is very skilled at M&A. We are a big bank. We have lots of money.

"There are a couple of things I would love to have in Germany. I see opportunities both big and small," she added.

An announcement from Barclays this week that Citigroup would be advising the UK bank over the mooted merger with Dutch bank ABN Amro has ruled the US company out of making a rival bid.

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