The FINANCIAL — Citigroup on February 29 announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its 20 percent equity stake in China Guangfa Bank (CGB) to China Life Insurance Company Ltd. The financial terms of the transaction are not material to Citigroup’s earnings.
Francisco Aristeguieta, CEO of Citi Asia Pacific, said: “While we are proud of our decade-long partnership with China Guangfa Bank, this transaction is consistent with the simplification of Citi and allows us to focus our resources in China on growing our core franchise further. Citi has operated in China for more than a century, and it remains one of our highest-priority markets around the world. We employ more than 8,000 people in China and work closely with a targeted set of clients across both consumer and institutional banking.”
Citi has been in China since 1902 and in 2007 was among the first international banks to locally incorporate in China. In 2012, Citi became the first global bank to launch a sole-branded credit card in China. Citi has operations across 13 cities in China, according to Citi.
Citi first acquired its stake in CGB through a consortium investment in 2006 that included China Life Insurance Company. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Citi’s Institutional Clients Group advised Citi on this transaction.
Citi will announce its first quarter of 2016 results on April 15, 2016.