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Singapore's UOB bets on Thailand, Vietnam in ASEAN growth surge

Lender wins 2 million clients from Citi buyout but economic headwinds pose risks

Ads for the Singapore bank UOB at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. (Photo by Dylan Loh)

SINGAPORE -- Major Singaporean lender United Overseas Bank is moving in on rivals in Southeast Asia as its buyout of Citigroup's business in key regional markets adds millions of clients and potentially millions in revenue.

The bank on Thursday said its completion of the merger with Citi's consumer banking arms in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam had boosted its regional customer count from 5 million to over 7 million as of the end of March.

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