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Citi Eyes Expansion in Asia, To Add Wealth-Management Clients

Zacks Equity Research

The escalating wealth profile in Asia has attracted a number of global banks to expand their businesses in the region, in recent times. Sensing huge opportunities, Citigroup Inc. C intends to increase the number of wealth-management clients in Asia Pacific this year by 10%, per Reuters. Supported by higher number of client advisers and rising digitization, the projected growth is higher than the 8% recorded in 2018.

"We are confident the investments we have made and continue to make will support double-digit client growth rates in 2019,” Gonzalo Luchetti, Citi's head of consumer banking for the Asia Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) unit, noted in a statement.

The New York-based banking giant intends to expand its wealth-management business, targeting clients with assets for investments in the range of $100,000 and $10 million, in 17 markets. Notably, this business is part of the bank’s Asia Pacific and EMEA consumer banking unit. The potential markets include Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, China and South Korea.

Further, Citigroup plans to recruit more relationship managers, along with increased usage of digital offerings, to support the expansion. Like several banks, this banking giant has also embraced new technology in a bid to attract and retain clients, providing enhanced and improved online services.

Other multinational banks that are focusing on expanding the Asian wealth-management operations include Standard Chartered PLC SCBFF, HSBC Holdings plc HSBC and Credit Suisse Group AG CS.

We remain encouraged by Citigroup’s potential efforts in fortifying its wealth-management business in Asia. Undoubtedly, it reflects that the company remains focused on tapping opportunities in growing regions, as well as continues to retreat from unprofitable markets at the same time.

Citigroup currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares of the company have gained around 18.3% over the last three months compared with 8.2% growth recorded by the industry.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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