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Citi sells ASEAN assets to Singapore's UOB in $3.6bn deal

Purchase of commercial banking units comes as region's digital battle heats up

A UOB branch in Singapore. The bank's acquisition of Citigroup's consumer banking businesses in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam enables it to instantly expand its customer base from 2.9 million retail customers to 5.3 million in the four markets.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Singapore's United Overseas Bank said on Friday it will acquire Citigroup's consumer banking businesses in four Southeast Asian countries, a major consolidation of the banking sector in a region where digital services are becoming increasingly important.

UOB says it will acquire the U.S. bank's unsecured and secured lending portfolios, wealth management and retail deposit businesses in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam for about 4.9 billion Singapore dollars ($3.6 billion). Citi's roughly 5,000 employees in these businesses will be transferred to the UOB group.

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