Citigroup Korea is set to apply for a retail brokerage license in South Korea, with a view to launch several more new branches, this year, a report by Dow Jones Newswires reveals.
In an interview with the publication, Citigroup Korea chief executive Ha Yung-ku said that the main target of the planned expansion is the country's high net worth population.
"High net worth clients who are the higher than middle income level have more and more interest in the global names, the same applies to bond and equity issuances. That license will help us provide more global and local services to our customers," Ha reportedly said.
Citigroup began operations in Korea in 1967 and is said to be the first foreign bank to have entered the country. It has since then grown to 220 branches at present. The company, which endeavors to enhance its wealth management offering through the new license, is aiming to increase its branch numbers to 300, starting with around 15 new offices in 2011.
The latest available financial data on Citigroup Korea shows that the bank had a KRW356.2 billion ($228.4 million) net profit from January to September 2010. It has yet to reveal figures for the fourth quarter.