Citi acquires stake in Vietnamese securites firm

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Citigroup announced Friday that it has acquired a 9.9 percent stake in Vietnam's Horizon Securities Corporation, becoming one of the first foreign financial institutions to invest in a local securities firm.

The investment, subject to regulatory approval, will allow Citi to reinforce its position in "one of the fastest growing markets in Asia Pacific," the company said.

"Our expansion in Vietnam is consistent with our broader goal of growing our franchise in the ASEAN market," said Rodrigo Zorrilla, Head of Markets Asia Pacific at Citi. "We will continue to invest in our markets business to help our regional and global clients who are increasingly looking to invest in Asian equities given the region's growth prospects."

Horizon Securities, a subsidiary of Horizon Capital Group, is a privately-held Vietnamese firm that provides brokerage and corporate finance services.

Kham Manh Doan, Chairman of Horizon Capital Group said, "The Citi-Horizon Securities partnership demonstrates that the Vietnam economy as a whole, and the Vietnamese stock market in particular, remains attractive to top-tier foreign investors with a mid- to long-term vision for Vietnam."

Citi has helped Vietnamese issuers raise more than US$2.8 billion from the domestic and international capital markets since 2007, according to data from Dealogic.

"This investment will help us become a leader in the secondary market and allow us to increase our market share of institutional investor equity flows as the Vietnamese market resumes strong growth and depth of liquidity," said Brett Krause, Citi Country Officer for Vietnam.

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