CEE's best bank for financing 2019: Citi
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CEE's best bank for financing 2019: Citi

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Citi’s local presence gives it an edge with financial sponsors, particularly the regional players, such as Mid Europa Partners, that drive a large chunk of deal flow in CEE.

“We spend more time than our global rivals with these firms,” says Theo Giatrakos, head of investment banking for central and south-eastern Europe. “They are as important for us as some of the western European sponsors.”

Another factor that has worked to Citi’s advantage is the steady retreat of other global banking groups from CEE.

“We have seen a retraction by some of our competitors, particularly on the capital markets side,” says Giatrakos. “That’s not how Citi operates. We don’t get overexcited when markets are good and we don’t panic when they are softening. We’ve been in this region for decades and we want to maintain our presence irrespective of changing levels of activity.”

Citi’s commitment is particularly noticeable in the Commonwealth of Independent States. In Kazakhstan, it is the last bank standing of the international players, while even in Russia its offering of full global functionality increasingly sets it apart from bulge-bracket rivals.

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