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    Citigroup to hire 3,000 in Asia institutional banking sector

    ANN/THE STAR – Citigroup Inc plans to hire around 3,000 new staff for its Asia institutional business in the next few years, sharpening its focus in a fast-growing region where it has exited consumer banking in most markets, its Asia-Pacific Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said.

    The previously unreported staff expansion plans underline Citi’s ambition to make institutional banking and wealth management engines of growth, seeking to bolster revenue in a region that has become a battleground for global banks looking to tap its vast economies and growing wealth.

    Citi’s institutional business includes investment banking, and corporate and commercial banking units that provide trade finance, cash management, payments and custody services, among others.

    “We’re talking about real meat on the bones on growing our business across Asia,” Asia-Pacific CEO Peter Babej told the media in an interview. Babej took on the role in 2019 and previously worked as global head of the bank’s financial institutions group.

    Citi has around USD200 billion in wealth assets in Asia, and the bank was “on track” to grow client assets by USD150 billion by 2025, a spokesman said, despite global economic and markets uncertainties. The bank’s expansion of Asian institutional business comes on top of plans announced last year to hire about 2,300 people by 2025 for its wealth-management unit.

    Citi said last year that USD7 billion in capital released from divestment of consumer banking businesses in 13 markets, 10 of which were in Asia, would be either returned to shareholders or invested in lucrative institutional banking and wealth-management units.

    The bank’s main regional institutional business is in Hong Kong and Singapore, and Babej said that these two hubs would be a key focus of the 3,000 additional headcount for the unit. It did not disclose the existing headcount for the business.

    Citigroup Inc plans to hire around 3,000 new staff for its Asia institutional business in the next few years. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
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