Hong Kong Citi was named Best Bank Overall for Advising Chinese Institutions on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Asiamoney’s New Silk Road finance awards—beating out local banks and regional competitors for the accolade. The award was presented to Beibei Li, Citi’s Global Head of Belt and Road, at the awards ceremony on September 25 in Singapore. Citi was also named Best International Bank for BRI in the Middle East and Africa.
In the editorial write-up with the awards, the editors said, “Citi’s presence in 105 of the Belt and Road markets…puts it in perfect position to connect Chinese clients.” The write-up also highlighted the banks’ local expertise and relationships that are a competitive advantage in supporting clients.
“Our BRI capabilities relate to three main phases: development, construction and operations. Across all three we also bring powerful connections: we have been working in China for many decades, developing deep relationships. These help us to support foreign companies entering China and China’s companies expanding abroad,” said Gerry Keefe, Head of Asia Pacific Corporate Banking.
“This award is important recognition for the whole team and I would like to thank our clients for the trust they place in Citi for their banking needs. Citi has been facilitating trade, investment and promoting economic progress across the Belt and Road for more than 100 years, supporting over 3,500 corporate clients. We are seeing though an increased demand for banking services as more of our global clients increasingly identify and invest in opportunities across the Belt and Road,” said Beibei.
In the last 12 months revenues from supporting clients across the Belt and Road corridors are up 18 percent. The growth has come from increased corporate and investment banking, cash management, trade, foreign exchange and other flow business as the bank increases its market share with the increase in client activity.
Sectors where the bank has seen strong growth include clients in industries including tech, financial institutions, energy and power. In terms of regional growth, Asia, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe all registered above 15 percent client revenue growth in the last 12 months.
A combination of supporting global MNCs—Citi banks close to 90 percent of the Fortune 500 on the Belt and Road—and banking leading Chinese institutional clients across the Belt and Road has underpinned the growth.
Recent client highlights include Indonesia PT Banten’s project bond, Naspers US$2.5bn syndicated loan and Bank of China’s US$3.8 billion U.S. dollar equivalent Belt and Road branch bond.
Other notable recent highlights for Chinese clients include, helping a leading power construction company obtain special approval on US dollar account opening in Bangladesh; supporting a major energy company on their cash pool centralization across BRI countries; providing a holistic FX hedging solution to a power company for a series of capital injections in Latin America and offering a Sinosure-covered project finance proposal to help a top Chinese transportation company’s bid for infrastructure project in North Africa.
Citi is also perfectly positioned to advise global MNCs on Belt and Road. “We have the largest network in the world, coupled with a long and proud history of administering international projects. At the dawn of the 20th century, Citi played a key role in the financing and operation of the Panama Canal, which opened up commerce to an entire hemisphere. At the same time, Citi came to Asia to serve multinationals such as General Electric as the leading trade finance and foreign exchange bank,” added Gerry.
Citi’s presence spans over 100 Belt & Road markets where the bank offers leading Treasury and Trade, Securities Services, Custody, Markets including FX, Corporate and Investment Banking, Commercial Banking, Lending, Capital Markets and M&A solutions.
Clients operating along the Belt and Road are supported by Citi’s local infrastructure and specific Asia desks. Citi opened additional Asia desks during 2017 and 2018 and now has over 30 Asia desks in operation globally—11 China Desks, nine Korea Desks and two India Desks—a network to bank Asia’s champions across the world and through the Belt and Road.
Citi serves clients in 160 markets; with the largest physical proprietary payment network in 98 markets; clearings and custody capabilities in 63 markets, with direct clearing access to 232 clearing systems worldwide. We operate trading floors in 77 markets and facilitate around $3 – 4 trillion of transaction flows on a daily basis. This global footprint and product excellence position us well to serve both traditional global businesses as well as next-generation clients along the Belt and Road.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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James Griffiths, 852-2868-7668, firstname.lastname@example.org