Citibank betting on Thailand

Thailand’s future is looking bright, according to Citibank’s CEO in the Asia-Pacific region, who said that the bank is optimistic on the Kingdom despite global headwinds that are currently affecting the economies of many countries.

“We are quite bullish on Thailand,” said Peter Babej, Asia-Pacific Chief Executive Officer for Citi. “As a market in terms of growth, I think it’s robust,” he said, adding that while the bank is not expecting soaring GDP numbers, the Kingdom’s growth will be “very solid.”

Citi does not engage in consumer or retail banking in Thailand but focusing instead on institutional banking and wealth management services. Babej said that Citi would be hiring about 3,000 staffers in coming years to work in on Asia institutional banking and another 2,300 for wealth management. The bank believes that Thailand and Asia will outperform other regions over the next few years.

Thailand has untapped potential to play a greater role in global supply chains and investors are aware of those possibilities, so the Kingdom should be a priority destination for their funds, Babej said.

“When you look at the total equation of expertise, talent, education level and labour combined, Thailand is in a good place,” he added.

Adding to Thailand’s economic prowess, Citi believes that outbound investment will also increase as more Thai companies seek to expand their international footprint. Citi has raised nearly US$10 billion for Thai bond and securities issuers from the global capital markets in recent years.

Citi is projecting that Thai economic growth will be 3.6 percent in 2022 and 4.8 percent in 2023.

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