Citigroup targets B&R opportunities to boost China revenue, executive says

Citigroup Inc expects to boost its revenue growth in China by tapping into opportunities presented by the Belt & Road (B&R) initiative, the bank's China chief said.

"We're seeing more and more multinational customers benefiting from the Belt and Road, mostly through supplying into the Belt and Road projects, particularly companies in the industrial sector," Christine Lam, Citigroup's chief executive for China, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

Lam spoke on the sidelines of a conference hosted by Citigroup in Beijing.

Rivals HSBC Holdings, Standard Chartered and Credit Suisse also have promoted their cross-border capital markets and cash management services to leverage B&R opportunities.

China is one of eight Asian markets that produce $1 billion or more in revenue for Citigroup. The bank's local unit reported about $770 million in revenue last year, representing a decline of 10.5 percent, following the sale of its stake in Guangfa Bank. Profits increased about 1 percent to $163 million.

Citigroup has banking relationships with more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies in China, Lam said, and provides services in 58 B&R markets.

The bank expects to book more revenue from providing services for B&R-related activities, including mergers and acquisitions, cash management, trade finance and hedging, Lam said.

Lam said that Citigroup is also looking to increase service to Chinese State-owned enterprises and other multinationals investing overseas, and it has established nine China desks in locations around the world, including Dubai, Nairobi and Kazakhstan.

Separately, Lam said that Citigroup has already benefited from ongoing discussions between the US and China over expanding access to China's financial markets.

In February, Citigroup became the first US-based bank to secure a license to act as a bond settlement agent in China's interbank bond market, allowing its local unit to compete alongside Deutsche Bank AG and BNP Paribas SA in the country's $9 trillion bond market.

Editor: zhangjunmian
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