Citi to keep expanding in India, China
Washington, July 28 (IANS) Citigroup Inc's Indian American
chief executive Vikram Pandit says he hopes to continue expanding
the bank's business in the two biggest engines of growth in
Asia, China and India, despite tough local restrictions.
The bank wouldn't retreat from fast-growing Asian businesses
even as the financial crisis has forced it to shrink its balance
sheet by about 25 percent, he told Wall Street Journal in
an interview at Citigroup's Hong Kong headquarters Monday.
"There's no question in our mind that Asia is going to
represent a disproportionate amount of the world's growth
over the next decade," he said adding, that will result
in big opportunities for Citi to expand its presence in trade
finance, custody business and cross-border cash flows, "The
intra-Asia flows are going to grow exponentially," said
Pandit, 52, who has held the top job at Citi since December
Citing Citi's efforts to help American homeowners and credit-card
holders who are having trouble making their payments, he acknowledged
"a significant responsibility" on Citi's part to
help be "an integral part of the American recovery."
But "now it's the turn for the foreign consumer to rise,"
he said as cited by the Journal, and American businesses can
help with the US recovery through exports to overseas consumers.
Pandit also dismissed suggestions that competitors speaking
ill of Citi's bailout from Washington are affecting the business.
"I've usually found that you don't win business by talking
down somebody," he said.
There are points in time, Pandit said, when companies in one
part of the world need loans and liquidity available from
elsewhere in the world. "That's the business that we're
in," he was quoted as saying by the Journal.
However, he added that the safety and soundness of its local
businesses was critical and Citigroup worked closely with
regulators everywhere it operates.
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