Philippines' best international bank 2019: Citi
Competition for the best international bank award in the Philippines was unusually fierce this year, with impressive submissions coming from Citi, HSBC and Standard Chartered. Citi won because of its performance across the full spread of banking business.
Citi Philippines, under country officer Aftab Ahmed, had an exceptional year, with strong growth in revenue and profit. During the period under review, the bank’s net income rose 36% to P4.3 billion ($82 million) and return on equity hit a lofty 26%. Citi is the largest foreign bank in the Philippines measured by the number of customers, asset base and profitability, and remains the best, with a clear focus on the public sector, top-tier local corporates, multinationals, financial institutions and affluent consumers.
Citi’s contact centre in the Philippines now handles more than 20 million calls a year. The bank has nearly 8,100 full-time employees, the largest in its history, with plans to continue expanding.
Analysts continue to give the thumbs up.
“Many of the innovations that have been adopted by local banks originally came from Citi,” says one head of research in Manila.
To round it off, Citi’s investment banking business executed a number of landmark transactions encompassing the full spectrum of debt, equity and advisory services. The bank acted as joint bookrunner on the $1.5 billion 3.75% 10-year SEC-registered bond of the Republic of the Philippines.
It was also joint lead manager for the Asian Development Bank in two of its green issuances to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.