US banking major Citi has brokered a deal to sell its retail banking business in Bahrain to Ahli United Bank (AUB) for an undisclosed sum.
The deal, which is yet to receive regulatory clearance, covers Citi’s retail banking, unsecured loans and credit card business in the country.
Citi will continue to operate its institutional business in Bahrain.
As a part of the agreement, AUB will retain Citi’s retail employees and employees supporting its consumer banking business.
The divesture is part of Citi’s plans to exit 13 retail banking markets across the Asia Pacific and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to focus on institutional banking operations.
Citi’s move is expected to release nearly $7bn of allocated tangible common equity over time.
Citi legacy franchises CEO Titi Cole said: “This is a positive outcome for our colleagues and our clients in Bahrain, and our top priority is to manage and support them through a seamless transition to AUB. We are proceeding with the same consideration for our remaining consumer exit markets.”
Citi country officer Bahrain Michel Sawaya said: “We are very pleased to announce this transaction with AUB, a leading organisation with a strong growth strategy in consumer banking in Bahrain. We are confident AUB will provide excellent opportunities for our customers and employees.
“For Citi, this transaction will enable additional investment in our strategic focus areas, including our institutional businesses in Bahrain.”
The announcement comes shortly after Citi reached an agreement with Axis Bank to sell its consumer banking operation in India for around $1.6bn.