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Citi to sell retail biz in Japan

Citigroup is set to sell its retail business in Japan to the country’s second largest bank Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp as part of its Citi’s global efforts to streamline operations by axing consumer businesses where they are not considered worthwhile. According to sources, the sale would fetch Citi around ¥40 billion ($333 million). Citi started considering exit from retail business in Japan after more than a century in the nation some time earlier this year. The bank is cutting down operations in more than 10 countries. The bank’s retail operations have drawn interest from several local bidders attracted by a relatively wealthy clientele. The local unit has about ¥3.9 trillion in deposits at 31 branches in major cities across the country. For decades, it has been the top western bank in Japan, with hundreds of thousands of retail customers.

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