Citibank deposits in UAE guaranteed by govt

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Dubai, Nov 24 (UNI) As NRI customers are getting worried about the health of the bank, Citibank UAE has reassured that deposits at all its branches in the country are safe, saying it is guaranteed by the UAE government.

In India worries have been expressed about the bank laying off employees. A large number of NRIs has deposits and loans with Citibank which has a separate NRI division with hundreds of Indians on its pay roll in the West Asia.

The second-biggest Arab economy guaranteed deposits of all local and foreign banks with significant operations in the country on October 13 in a bid to boost confidence in its banking industry amidst the global credit crisis.

Citibank has been operating in the UAE since 1964, it said in a statement yesterday.

Recently, the bank strengthened its regional coverage through key treasury, equity and investment banking appointments in Dubai.

It has relocated a global co-head of investment banking to Dubai, and expanded debt markets business in Dubai by transferring from London its co-head of Europe, West Asia and African capital markets to oversee businesses including M&A, leverage and project finance.

Citibank had deposits of Dh8.46 billion in the UAE at the end of 2007, Karim Seifeddine, head of public affairs at Citibank for the West Asia, said in a phone interview yesterday. That gave it a 1.2 per cent share of the UAE's bank deposits of Dh720 billion at the time, according to data on the central bank's website.

Mohammad Al Shroogi, Managing Director for the West Asia and Chief Executive of Citi in the UAE, said, ''We remain the bank of choice for millions of depositors worldwide, evident in a strong deposit base (about 780 billion dollars at the end of the third quarter), diversified across products and regions, with more than two thirds of it outside the US including the UAE.'' Citi has been in the Arab world for nearly 50 years and continues to view the region as critical to its global franchise.

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