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Best for emerging market debt


When Norilsk Nickel of Russia wanted to buy a 20% stake in Gold Fields of South Africa from Anglo American and needed to raise $800 million at short notice, it got help from an unexpected quarter: the bank that was advising the seller, Citigroup. Citigroup had identified Norilsk to Anglo as a potential buyer of the $1.2 billion stake and, after asking permission from its client to approach the Russian company to offer help in arranging finance, rushed to raise the loan to fund the purchase in a matter of days.

Citigroup managed all the complex cash-management aspects of the deal, which required delivering rand proceeds in South Africa. It pulled the whole thing together in 96 hours, so preserving confidentiality for the client. In the process it acted as sole arranger on the largest unsecured syndicated loan ever for a Russian corporation.

So when Atiq ur Rehman was promoted from head of loans for Citigroup in emerging Europe to lead Citigroup?s global emerging-market bond and loan origination effort, he knew a thing or two about the bank?s ability to pull together structuring and product skills and apply them for customers operating in countries very far apart.

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