Citi Makes Iraq Move

from The Wall Street Journal..

June 24, 2013


Citigroup Inc. C -3.16% said it plans to open a representative office in Baghdad after getting approval from the country’s regulator, making it the first American bank to have a physical presence on the ground there.

Citi said it obtained preliminary approval from Iraq’s central bank to establish a Baghdad office. Until now, Citi served its Iraqi clients through its office in Jordan’s capital Amman. The lender is looking to open two more representative offices in Erbil and Basra at a later stage.

For Citi, Iraq represents the first new country it has expanded into since 2007, and the move is a show of confidence in Iraq’s economic prospects.

“Our economists have forecast that by the year 2050, the Iraqi economy should be in the neighborhood of $2 trillion with a 50 million population—that is an economy which is compelling,” said Dennis Flannery, who will be heading up the new office. He joined Citi in 2011 from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad…

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