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BANKING

NAB purchase gets Citi’s Asian consumer sale under way

Citi has 13 Asia and EMEA consumer businesses up for sale. The first to be sold, to NAB in Australia, creates a template Citi would love to see used in later deals.

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Photo: Reuters

The great Citi Asia consumer sale has its first buyer: National Australia Bank, which is acquiring Citi’s Australia business for A$1.2 billion (US$0.88 billion) of equity. One down, 12 to go; but if they’re all this clean, Citi will be pleased.

NAB is buying the whole Australian business and taking all 800 staff. It is paying a A$250 million premium for a business that has A$12.2 billion of loans and A$9 billion of deposits, including a million credit card customers. All told, it represents a multiple of eight times earnings.

Australian analysts on the call with NAB today considered it a good and relatively cheap deal for the bank. But from Citi’s perspective, the smoothness of the deal will be appealing – particularly if it serves as a good template for the other 12 Asia and EMEA businesses on the block.

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Jane Fraser, Citi

Citi has got a deal done very quickly – chief executive Jane Fraser only announced her intention to sell the businesses in April – gets to say it looked after its people, with all staff going across to NAB, and banked a premium, if not a fortune.

It