Strong client growth in trade corridors has supported Citi’s performance in the first half of the year in the Asia-Pacific region with revenue growth of 18% in the bank’s intra-Asia trade corridors. Citi’s Asia-Pacific institutional net income was up 14% at US$1.8 billion when the bank announced second-quarter and first-half earnings on July 15.
Citi’s client growth come through a series of key trade corridors in the Asia-Pacific region that the bank has identified and invested further resources in which has supported growth. The bank’s key corridors include Korea to ASEAN, Korea to China, Korea to India, Japan to ASEAN, Japan to China and China to ASEAN. The biggest growth in the first half of 2019 was seen along the Korea to ASEAN, China to ASEAN and Japan to ASEAN corridors.
“Intra-Asia is capturing a greater share of global trade and we expect to see continued strong growth as intra-Asian trade corridors expand further especially through ASEAN,” says Gerry Keefe, Citi’s head of corporate banking, Asia Pacific.
Having recognized the shift in trade flows, Citi put in place a strategy to capitalize on the ongoing growth along these corridors in recent years that is now paying dividends.
Citi opened additional Asia desks over 2017 and 2018 to help clients as they look to expand to new areas and markets across these corridors. The bank now has over 20 Asia desks in operation – including 11 China desks, andJapan desks in Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, India and China.
“Our established network and product capabilities ensure that Citi is well placed to help clients mitigate risks and thrive in this environment,” says Keefe.
The work Citi does for clients in these corridors includes capital raising, M&A, trade finance, cash management and FX hedging. Clients include all of Asia’s major corporate champions and emerging champions and also leading companies in the Fortune 500 – where Citi already banks 90% of this group in the region.
“We are banking many of Asia’s corporate champions and major MNCs with the country desks supporting clients globally,” says Keefe.