Singapore's best international bank 2019: Citi
For the third year running, Citi’s unparalleled breadth and depth in Singapore makes it Asiamoney’s best international bank for 2019.
Total net income for the three Citi entities in Singapore was S$1.1 billion ($792 million) in 2018, up about 9% from the previous year.
Citi Singapore Ltd, under which the firm runs its consumer banking operations, reported a 14% jump in net income to S$606 million, while at Citi Singapore, the fully licensed arm consisting of the institutional client group, it rose 16.5% to S$229 million.
But Citicorp Investment Bank (Singapore) Ltd, under which the US bank books its investment banking and capital markets deals, reported a 5% fall in net income to S$276 million. Return on assets grew to 6% last year, from 4% in 2017.
The investment banking division won some notable deals. On the M&A front, it was the exclusive financial adviser to ST Engineering on its acquisition of MRA Systems, in a deal worth $630 million, and it advised ESR-Reit on its merger with Viva Industrial Trust, the first real estate investment trust merger in Singapore.
Other deals include Mapletree Logistics Trust raising $274 million from an equity placement, Clifford Capital bagging $300 million from a RegS bond and Singapore’s government-owned Temasek raising about $1.4 billion with a 10-year bond.
Away from investment banking, Citi showed outstanding performance across various other divisions under Amol Gupte, its country officer for Singapore and head of Asean.
Trade volumes at Citi surpassed $10 trillion last year across FX spots, forwards, swaps and options. As Singapore continued to build its reputation as a wealth management centre, Citi positioned itself well to capture those opportunities, recording assets of $249 billion last year. Citi Private Bank, meanwhile, saw assets under management climb more than 32% as of December 2018.
Things were no different at the bank’s consumer banking operations. In addition, Citi’s mobile-first strategy is paying off, thanks to an increase in usage of its app. Downloads soared 100% last year over 2017, while the number of app users increased 61%.