Citi to sell its consumer unit in Bahrain to Ahli United Bank
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Citi to sell its consumer unit in Bahrain to Ahli United Bank

Citi to sell its consumer unit in Bahrain to Ahli United Bank

The transaction includes Citigroup’s retail-banking, credit-card and unsecured-lending businesses

Citigroup agreed to sell its consumer-banking operations in Bahrain to Ahli United Bank (AUB) as part of the lender’s continued push to simplify.

The transaction includes Citigroup’s retail-banking, credit-card and unsecured-lending businesses, and excludes the firm’s institutional businesses, according to a statement.

New York-based Citigroup said the deal is expected to close by the second half of the year, noting that Ahli United Bank was selected as part of a competitive auction process.

“We are confident AUB will provide excellent opportunities for our customers and employees,” Michel Sawaya, Citigroup’s country officer for Bahrain, said in the statement. “For Citi, this transaction will enable additional investment in our strategic focus areas, including our institutional businesses in Bahrain.”

Citigroup is seeking to dispose of retail banking operations in more than a dozen countries across the Asia-Pacific region as well as in Europe and the Middle East, and the Bahrain deal marks the ninth announced sale as part of that process. In all, those deals are expected to free up about $7bn in allocated tangible common equity over time.

Citigroup debuted its consumer-banking arm in Bahrain in 1989 and now has 14 automated teller machines spread across the kingdom. In all, Citigroup has about 500 employees spread across Bahrain, and is considered one of the top credit-card issuers in the market.

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