Atiq Rehman, Citi’s Chief Executive of MENA, said that more of the bank’s multinational corporate clients were using the UAE as a centre for their business in the region.
Citigroup is planning to boost the UAE’s role as an offshore booking centre and is working towards a full banking licence in Saudi Arabia, helping to propel the lender’s regional growth.
Rehman, said, “We are focused on what we can do within the UAE and very focused on what we can do from the UAE, we want to grow our business here and make it into a regional offshore booking centre for a lot of our loans.”
Instead of London and New York, Rahaman sad that Citi is booking loans in the UAE as there is a lot of benefit from doing so because of costs, time zone management and a good set of regulations here.
Citi’s growth in MENA would also be led by Saudi Arabia, where the bank was working towards applying for a full banking licence.
The lender ended a five-decade presence in Saudi Arabia in 2004 but in 2015 won permission to invest directly in the local stock market and in January this year gained approval to begin investment banking operations.
In MENA region, Citi operates in 25 markets and the region contributes around seven per cent of the bank’s global net income, reported Reuters.