Citigroup Sees Africa Sales Gain as Clients Expand on Continent

Citigroup Inc. (C), the U.S. lender with a presence in 16 African countries, sees increased sales from the continent this year as customers expand on the continent.

“We expect Africa revenues to grow and to grow from our client business,” Donna Oosthuyse, Citigroup’s South Africa head, said today in Johannesburg. “We expect growth from our flow revenue. We’ve had a couple of good years in trading because of low interest rates and the rebound in equities.”

Banks including Standard Chartered Plc (STAN), Barclays Plc (BARC) and FirstRand Ltd. (FSR) are expanding in Africa where countries including Nigeria and Ghana are growing faster than developed nations. As many as 70 percent of the U.S. companies already operating in South Africa have a presence in another 10 African countries on average, according to Oosthuyse. Citigroup, which doesn’t offer consumer banking in Africa, is involved in project financing and business and investment banking on the continent.

While Citigroup’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat said in March the bank may exit or scale back businesses in 21 nations, it hasn’t exited any markets in Africa, Oosthuyse said.

The bank has been hiring staff, in particular for its custody and clearing operations, and plans to transform its Ghanaian unit from a representative office to a currency trading operation, she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at rbonorchis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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