Citigroup Inc (C) said last week that it intended to hire 300 new relationship managers in Hong Kong as it seeks to increase clientele threefold and assets under management twofold in its wealth management business in the key financial centre.
The news comes one day after Citigroup announced plans to withdraw from consumer banking in 13 markets across Europe and Asia, including mainland China, Korea, Australia and Thailand.
Instead, the Wall Street bank intends to focus its consumer banking business in East Asia on “wealth centres” such as Hong Kong and Singapore.
“Hong Kong customers increasingly require portfolio advice, design and allocation geared toward diversification of asset types and geographic exposures … we are fully committed to serving these needs,” Lawrence Lam, Chief Executive and Consumer Business Manager for Citibank Hong Kong, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Citigroup shares closed lower for a second consecutive trading session in New York on Friday. The stock edged down 0.12% ($0.09) to $72.45, after touching an intraday low at $71.69, or a price level not seen since April 14th ($71.42).
Shares of Citigroup Inc have risen 17.50% so far in 2021 compared with an 11.43% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).
In 2020, Citigroup Inc’s stock went down 22.82%, thus, it underperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 16.26% gain.