Citi accelerates regional securities presence


Striking further into Asia, Citi has introduced its global securities lending services platform to Malaysia for the first time.

Despite the challenges that remain for global organisations in building services for regional customers in Asia Pacific, Citi has pushed aggressively into new market opportunities through its technology platforms. Last month it launched clearing services in India. In an interview with FST Media at the time, Conor Cunningham, Asia Pacific Head of Futures and OTC Clearing, said “In APAC differing clearing models are evolving in different jurisdictions with quite distinct characteristics. The challenge going forward would be for clearing members to normalise these idiosyncracies through technology such that the client experience is painless.”

Despite these challenges, Citi remains confident of the success of its technology services to Asia Pacific clients. David Martocci, Global Head of Securities Finance for Citi Transaction Services, said “extending our lending services in Asia enables our clients to take advantage of the lucrative revenue opportunities in these markets such as Malaysia.”

The new Malaysian service will leverage Citi’s OpenLend platform, which is now available in 72 markets worldwide. According to Benedit Ler, Malaysia Head of Securities and Fund Services at Citi Transaction Services, rolling OpenLend out into the Malaysian market was a straight-forward implementation process despite the high-level challenges. “As one of the established custodian providers in the local market, we already have in place a local infrastructure to support our lending services,” he said. “Extending lending services to key markets such as Malaysia further underlines our core capabilities of providing our clients with access to these markets and additional investment opportunities.”

OpenLend is an open-architecture solution that leverages Citi’s global presence, risk management controls and trading strategies and is designed to help clients achieve performance objectives. Citi continues to develop the OpenLend platform, Ler added, saying the bank is focusing on enhancing its analytics tools, and looking to scale the platform further into new markets.

It forms part of a suite of investment services delivered through Citi’s OpenInvestor service, a service that provides middle office, fund services, custody, investing and financing systems to institutional, alternative and wealth management customers. Customers have access to 24-hour support from London, Hong Kong, Australia, Dublin and New York.