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AwardsNew Silk Road Finance Awards

CEE & Central West Asia: Best international bank in the region for BRI 2020


Citi’s reach in Central and Eastern Europe, and Central and West Asia is impressive.

It provides services to Chinese clients in nine countries in the region: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine. In most of these countries, the US bank has had a presence for more than two decades; in others, it has a much longer history – 150 years in Poland.

Naturally, its efforts as an international bank supporting the Belt and Road Initiative in the region stand out, because Citi uses the strength of its global franchise to tailor its BRI-related offerings.

The bank has a China desk in London and in Almaty, Kazakhstan, exclusively to cover mainland clients in the CEE and CWA areas. It has also hired Mandarin-speaking relationship managers and analysts in a handful of these countries to cater to its clientele.

Ramachandran AS, GSG Head of CEE, Russia, Ukraine & Kazakhstan within BCMA, Citi (1).jpg
Ramachandran AS, Citi

Citi – under the watch of Ramachandran AS, global subsidiaries group head for CEE, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan within banking, capital markets and advisory – holds annual BRI events for Chinese clients, a commitment that continued this year despite Covid-19. The bank adapted to travel restrictions by turning the session into an online webinar in the middle of May. More than 100 clients registered for the event.

What is notable about Citi’s business is the way it has managed to marry its support for global multinational companies with its ties to leading mainland institutional clients to expand its regional franchise.

Corporate clients, for example, can take advantage of Citi’s availability of renminbi-denominated accounts in CEE and CWA, and its support for renminbi foreign exchange trades.

Citi’s broad range of offerings to clients span cash management and trade solutions, corporate FX and risk management, and agency and trust services for M&A deals in the region.

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