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Citi opens 2nd lending firm

CITIGROUP Inc said yesterday that it has opened its second rural lending company in China.

The lending company, Hubei Xianning Chibi Citi Lending Co Ltd, has a registered capital of 17 million yuan (US$2.49 million). Chibi, in Hubei Province in central China, has a population of more than half a million people. A lending company doesn't take in deposits.

"China remains one of Citi's highest priority markets anywhere, our business is performing well here, and we will continue to expand our presence in China over the long term, including to less developed regions," said Andrew Au, chairman and chief executive officer of Citibank (China) Co Ltd.

The Chibi company followed the bank's first lending company in Gong'an, also in Hubei, in December. The bank said it is committed to developing the lending company model in China as a sustainable and profitable element of Citi's overall operations in China, and intends to open more in the future.

It has already got approval from the banking regulator to open a third lending firm in Liaoning Province.


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