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Citi on Hong Kong hiring spree in effort to triple client numbers

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HONG KONG, April 16 (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc will hire 300 new relationship managers in Hong Kong and plans to triple client numbers and double assets under management in its wealth management business in the Asian financial hub, it said on Friday.

The announcement comes a day after the U.S. bank said it would withdraw from consumer banking in 13 markets in Asia and Europe, including Australia, mainland China, Korea and Thailand. The group plans instead to focus its east Asian consumer banking business on the "wealth centres" of Hong Kong and Singapore.

Many large global banks are looking to provide more services to wealthy clients in Asia, both the newly affluent and the super rich.

HSBC's latest strategy, for example, has a focus on wealth management in Asia.

“Hong Kong customers increasingly require portfolio advice, design and allocation geared toward diversification of asset types and geographic exposures ... we are fully committed to serving these needs," Lawrence Lam, Chief Executive and Consumer Business Manager for Citibank Hong Kong, said in the statement.

(Reporting by Alun John Editing by David Goodman )