Citigroup Helps Chinese Firms Expand

Citigroup Helps Chinese Firms Expand Into Singapore

SINGAPORE – Citigroup has announced that its commercial banking division, Citi Commercial Bank, has established a China desk in Singapore that focuses on assisting emerging Chinese firms expand into Singapore and Southeast Asia, reported CNBC on Monday noon (6 September, SGT).

In particular, Citi Commercial Bank caters to growing mid-sized companies with maximum revenues of US$1 billion per annum. Many of such entities from China are looking to venture into foreign markets in the region, specifically Singapore, which now serves as a key hub or regional headquarters for Chinese tech giants like ByteDance and TikTok, as well as video-streaming platform iQiyi.

“Singapore and the broader ASEAN region are key markets for growth for expanding Chinese emerging corporates. A majority of these clients set up holding companies in Singapore for their ASEAN units,” revealed Lin Hsiu-Yi, Citi Commercial Bank’s Head for Singapore and the ASEAN region.

In charge of Citi Commercial Bank’s new China desk is Mona Zhang, a banker who previously handled mid-sized companies at Citi Commercial Bank’s office in China. The lender’s other China-focused desks are located in India and Hong Kong.

For a long time, Singapore has lured multinational corporations seeking a base for its commercial operations in Southeast Asia and the larger Asia Pacific (APAC) region.

Apart from Chinese firms, companies that have recently announced plans to expand into Singapore include American semiconductor maker GlobalFoundries and German biotechnology firm BioNTech, which is setting up a headquarters here.

Further boosting Singapore’s attractiveness as a stable location to do business is the US-China tensions, the erosion of civil liberties in Hong Kong, and the regulatory crackdown on tech giants in China.

According to Citigroup, revenue from helping client activity and flows from China into Singapore surged by over 2-fold in 2020 compared with the prior year. At the same time, the number of China-based customers the US financial firm works with in Singapore also increased by 35 percent year-on-year.

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