Citigroup banks on EA market to grow business
Citigroup views the East African Community (EAC) market as a new frontier for growth.
The Global banking giant contends that Kenyan, Tanzanian, Ugandan, and Zambian markets are key in its future strategy for the sub-Saharan Africa. The Group’s Chief Executive Officer in-charge of global Transaction Services Francesco Vanni d’ Archirafi said EA’s gross domestic product is projected to grow at between five-six per cent over the next three years. Mr Vanni d’ Archirafi said the projected growth would be facilitated by improved infrastructure, energy, oil, gas and minerals, agriculture, and industries.
Vanni d’ Archirafi also noted that EA would continue to benefit from Globalisation, in particular from demand for commodities and foreign direct investment from Brazil, Russia, India and China resulting in higher capital and trade flows.
He was speaking at an event to mark Citigroup’s 200th anniversary in Nairobi. Vanni d’ Archirafi said the bank would continue investing in Citi Transaction Services franchise and expand its offering to clients.
“I personally want to ensure that we as a bank continue to deliver relevance to our clients and help you win in the marketplace,” he said.
He, however, said the operating environment is becoming increasingly more difficult around the world due to political, economic and social uncertainty.
“This, coupled with regulatory pressures, high unemployment and historically low interest rates, will continue to create challenges in the years ahead,” he said.
“Africa is the new engine of growth with clients who demand more,” said Vanni d’ Archirafi.
Vanni d’ Archirafi pointed out that tight monetary policy has brought inflation down in line with the authorities five per cent target and with a gradual easing of monetary policy in the coming months, economic growth is set to accelerate.
“ The external position has strengthened, with rising international reserves and a current account deficit set to shrink as growth in domestic demand has been brought in line with that of domestic output,” he said.
By James Anyanzwa, The Standard
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