Citi picks Standard Charterd bank in Malaysia as front runner for Asia retail sales


In Malaysia, Standard Chartered Plc has emerged as the frontrunner to buy Citigroup’s retail consumer assets in a deal that could also be valued at several hundred million dollars, the sources said.

SINGAPORE: Citigroup Inc has chosen preferred bidders for its consumer assets in several Asian markets as the US lender presses ahead with its plans to divest numerous units across the region, according to sources.

The US lender picked Bank of Ayudhya Pcl as the leading suitor to buy its retail assets in Thailand, the sources said.

The bank, which is owned by Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc, will continue to negotiate the terms of a potential deal in the coming weeks, they said.

A transaction could value the assets at about US$2bil (RM8.46bil), they said.

In Indonesia, Citigroup has selected the Singaporean lender United Overseas Bank Ltd as its preferred bidder, the sources said.

A sale could fetch several hundred million dollars, they said.

CITI Bank HQ NYCITI Bank HQ NY

In Malaysia, Standard Chartered Plc has emerged as the frontrunner to buy Citigroup’s retail consumer assets in a deal that could also be valued at several hundred million dollars, the sources said.

Citigroup has also picked Taiwan’s Fubon Financial Holding Co as its preferred bidder for the Chinese assets, in a deal that could raise about US$100mil (RM422.90mil) to US$200mil (RM845.80mil), the sources said.

Sales of businesses in other markets such as India and Taiwan may take longer to materialise, the sources said.

No final decision has been made, deliberations are ongoing and other bidders remain interested in the different Asian markets, the sources said.

“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,” a spokesperson for the bank said, declining to comment on the bidders.

The US bank has been considering a sale of certain consumer banking assets in Asia as it reshapes itself around more profitable units like investment banking, and focuses its wealth business around hubs in Hong Kong, London, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Citigroup has said that it expects the exits from 13 consumer franchises across Asia and the Europe, Middle East and Africa region will allow the bank to release roughly US$7bil (RM29.6bil) of tangible common equity over time.

Citigroup has chosen Union Bank of the Philippines as its preferred bidder to acquire its consumer banking assets in the South-East Asian country, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month.

A potential sale could value the assets at about US$1bil (RM4.23bil), sources said.

A representative for Fubon declined to comment.

Representatives for Bank of Ayudhya, Standard Chartered and UOB didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Shares in Bank of Ayudhya rose as much as 5% yesterday, their largest intraday move since September. — Bloomberg

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