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Citigroup names Antonios as first female head of MENA business

Citigroup names Antonios as first female head of MENA business

She will continue as country officer for the UAE, a role she assumed in 2016

Citigroup appointed Elissar Farah Antonios as the first woman to run its Middle East and North Africa operations, among the US bank’s fastest-growing businesses in emerging markets.

Antonios will continue to report to Atiq Rehman, who runs the bank’s Europe, Middle East and Africa emerging markets business, and will join the EMEA operating committee. She has been in charge of Citigroup’s operations in the United Arab Emirates, Levant and Iraq since 2019.

Antonios joined Citigroup in 2005 as head of the private bank in Abu Dhabi, and has more than 25 years of financial services experience in the region. She will continue as country officer for the UAE, a role she assumed in 2016.

The emerging markets business contributes about 30 per cent of Citigroup’s net income in EMEA. The bank has said that it plans to deepen its corporate banking presence in developing countries from Russia to South Africa even as some rivals decamp to focus on their home markets.

The lender has overhauled its business in eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa to focus on emerging economies. The third-largest US bank is betting unprecedented deal opportunities will follow the economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic, weak oil prices and political uncertainty.

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