Citi Names Standard Chartered As Preferred Bidder For Its Malaysian Consumer Assets
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Citigroup Inc (Citi) has named Standard Chartered Bank as the preferred bidder for its Malaysian retail consumer assets while Citi proceeds with its plan to exit from retail banking in several markets, including Malaysia.

That said, Citi clarifies that no final decision has been made yet, and that deliberations are still ongoing with numerous other interested bidders. “Citigroup continues to focus on securing the best outcomes for its people and clients, and its strategy refresh prioritising wealth and institutional businesses across the region is showing strong results, bolstered by a record year for capital raising,” said a spokesperson for Citi, who also declined to comment on the ongoing discussions.

Aside from revealing Standard Chartered as Citi’s preferred choice for Malaysia’s retail assets, the bank also disclosed the top picks for its other markets. For instance, the New York-based group has shortlisted Bank of Ayudhya Pcl as the leading suitor to buy its retail assets in Thailand, while Taiwan’s Fubon Financial Holding emerged as the preferred bidder for Citi’s Chinese assets. Citi also chose Singaporean lender United Overseas Bank Ltd as the preferred bidder for its Indonesian market.

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(Image: The Edge Markets)

Earlier this year, Citi had announced that it will exit its consumer franchises in 13 markets across two regions – Asia, as well as Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) – in a bid to focus on more profitable sectors instead, such as investment banking and wealth business. This move will also allow the bank to free up approximately US$7 billion (RM29.6 billion) of tangible common equity over time, bolstering its ability to deal with potential losses.

Since the announcement, Citi has been reaching out to bidders who are interested in acquiring its consumer banking assets in these affected markets. Citi’s consumer business encompasses credit cards, wealth management, and mortgages – with the credit card segment being the main draw for potential bidders. Each successful sale could likely rake in an earning of several hundred million to billion dollars – depending on the market.

(Source: The Star)

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