Citi yesterday (16 January) announced the expansion of its China Desk global network with the launch of a second desk in Singapore. This business supports Citi's Chinese clients that are using Singapore as an access point into ASEAN. The move comes on the back of investment trends led by the Belt and Road Initiative.

Citi cited numbers showing that China's FDI (foreign direct investments) into ASEAN has grown to over US$9 billion in 2016 from US$6.5 billion in 2015.

The new desk in Singapore comprises 10 relationship and product managers. The specialists are equipped to provide Chinese clients the full suite of banking solutions such as in the areas of cash management, trade financing, hedging, FX solutions, and advisory services related to mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity offerings, and the understanding of local operating and regulatory environments as they grow their presence in new markets across the region.

In the release, Munir Nanji, Citi’s Global Subsidiaries Group (GSG) head for Asia Pacific, said: “Citi’s deep understanding of our Chinese clients outside of China is an extension of our strong relationship with them in their home country. Our China Desks are led by experienced bankers from Citi’s China operations who understand the nuances of the Chinese culture, language and etiquette to better serve these enterprises as they invest to grow."

"Clients appreciate Citi’s full suite of integrated financial solutions as it reduces complexity and speeds up time-to-market for them when entering new markets," he added.

Citi's first Singapore-based China desk was launched in 2010; and now has eight other China desks outside of the two in Singapore. These eight include Hong Kong, London, New York, Dubai, Johannesburg, Sao Paulo, Kazakhstan, and Kenya.

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