International

Citi Reportedly Exiting Asia Payments Business

Citi Bank Asia

Citigroup is reportedly ditching its Asia payments processing business, according to a Reuters report, which cited sources said to be close to the matter.

This move continues Citi’s push out of markets that don’t align with its core operations, which includes evaluating its global plans.

As part of its reported bid to exit the merchant acquiring business, Citi was bringing in around $400 million in revenues. A majority of that business (70 percent) comes from Hong Kong, Singapore and India.

Exiting markets for Citi began in 2005, and it has since slowly put markets on the chopping block. Asia is the last market with its merchant acquiring business. Citi accounted for $2.6 billion in revenues in Asia last year.

Bids for the business are expected to close within weeks, sources told Reuters. Citigroup has not formally commented on the matter.

In February, it was reported that Citi was exiting the Argentina and Brazil retail banking markets. According to reports, this strategy from the top corporate ranks has been focused, as directed by CEO Michael Corbat, on bringing retail operations to a halt in some areas in an effort to reign in operating costs. There were Citigroup exits in other markets south of the United States, including a number in Central and Latin America, such as Peru and Costa Rica.

In late 2015, the bank announced it would restructure several of the bank’s businesses, which included laying off nearly 2,000 employees at the start of 2016. In some markets, Citi has reorganized its retail banking business by combining its retail banking and mortgage operations.

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