Citibank N.A.’s Sri Lankan branch retains their ‘AAA (lka)’ from Fitch

October 20, 2006 (LBO) – Citibank N.A. a unit of the Citigroup Inc., retained its AAA (lka) from Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd, the agency said Friday. The local unit’s rating draws strength from its parent, Citigroup Inc (rated ‘AA+’).

Given that the domestic entity is a branch using the ‘Citibank’ brand name and is operationally tied to the groups’ global operations, the agency believes that support from Citigroup would be available, when needed.

Operating here since 1979, Citibank Sri Lanka is the third-biggest foreign branch operating here in terms of assets.

The bank’s main focus remains in trade finance and short-term lending. Bulk of the business comes from multinational companies based here. In addition the bank also taps large capitalized domestic corporates and a selected crop of mid-sized companies for business.

Backed by high profitability and good asset quality, Citibank’s financial profile in Sri Lanka has been strong, despite operating out of a single branch. The bank, which usually maintains a clean loan book, currently ranks the Sri Lankan government and state owned entities is its highest exposure (60.9 percent of assets including investments in government securities).