Citi to double Brazil commercial bank unit's assets by 2020

FILE PHOTO: The Citigroup Inc (Citi) logo is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc plans to double its Brazilian commercial banking unit’s assets by 2020, thanks to growth in loans to mid-sized companies, department head Antonio Rubens told journalists on Monday.

The bank’s commercial unit has roughly 5 billion reais ($1.34 billion) in assets, out of 75 billion reais for Citi’s Brazilian operation as a whole, most of it dedicated to larger corporations.

Rubens said those assets jumped by 27 percent in 2018 as an economic recovery increased demand. Deposits grew 10 percent to 3 billion reais.

Citi is targeting firms with between 200 million and 1.8 billion reais in revenues, he said.

This move underscores a shift in Citi’s strategy in Brazil toward wholesale activities after selling its retail assets there to Itaú Unibanco Holding SA for 710 million reais.

($1 = 3.7294 reais)

Editing by Bernadette Baum

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