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Citigroup Plans to Provide Clearing Services in South Africa

Citigroup Inc., which has $5.8 billion of assets in South Africa, said it will provide direct custody and clearing services for institutional investors in Africa’s largest economy.

“This business will be a profit center in and of itself,” Donna Oosthuyse, the lender’s country manager, said in a presentation to reporters in Johannesburg today. “This should bring in foreign-exchange business, electronic funds transfer and brokerage. In time there will be securities lending and cash management.”

Citigroup is South Africa’s sixth-largest lender and competes with banks including Barclays Plc’s Absa Group Ltd. and Standard Bank Group Ltd. South Africa is the 60th market where New York-based Citigroup has opened direct custody and clearing services.

With the bank able to offer these services in equity, bond and money markets, investors will be able to have so-called segregated accounts that are transparent and separate from Citigroup’s books, said Monica Singer, chief executive officer of Strate Ltd., South Africa’s central securities depositary. South African banks don’t offer these services, she said.

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