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Business

REUTERS
February 9, 2018

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Citigroup targets rapid Middle East, Africa growth

Citigroup targets rapid Middle East, Africa growth

ABU DHABI: Citigroup expects 2018 to be its best year for investment banking in the Middle East and Africa in at least a decade, likely led by Saudi Arabia, a senior executive at the U.S. bank said.

Nigeria, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates would also be the main growth drivers as bond sales, mergers and acquisitions and public share sales pick-up, Miguel Azevedo, Citigroup´s head of investment banking, Middle East and Africa, said.

"The pipeline in the Middle East and Africa is as good as we have seen since the global financial crisis of 2008," he told Reuters in an interview, adding that emerging markets represented a larger weight of Citi´s earnings than for others.

"GDP growth for advanced economies this year is between 2.5 and 3 percent, while for emerging markets it is between 4.5 and 5 percent.

For investment banking, the growth should maybe be even more," Azevedo said.

In the Middle East and Africa, getting deals done would depend on market stability, but swings in global stocks in recent days represented a correction and were not "enough to put any of these transactions off".

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