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Citigroup hires new head of Vietnam investment banking   2008-04-14 - Bloomberg, Reuters

Citigroup Inc., the biggest US bank by assets, appointed Nguyen Son Nam as head of investment banking in Vietnam to boost its advisory business by targeting companies that need to raise capital, an internal memo said.

Nam, most recently a managing director at Citigroup of technology investment banking for the Asia-Pacific region, will transfer from Hong Kong to take up his new role on May 1, said the memo, released late Thursday.

“There are immense opportunities for Citigroup in Vietnam to provide investment banking services to our clients,” Mark Renton, co-head of Asia Pacific investment banking, said in the memo.

Citigroup and rivals including Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch & Co. have all gained footholds in the Southeast Asian nation, where the economy grew 8.5 percent last year, the most since 1996.

Nam joined Salomon Brothers as an associate in 1995 in New York and has been based in Asia since 1999.

He was formerly a vice president in the financial institutions group.

Citigroup was the first US financial institution to get a branch license in Vietnam in 1994.

The company has branches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and a partnership network that covers all of Vietnam’s 64 provinces, the memo said.

Merrill Lynch, the world’s largest brokerage, hired Khoi Phu Pham from Standard Chartered Bank in October as a director of investment banking to boost its operations in Vietnam.

The country in February approved Morgan Stanley’s venture with Gateway Securities.

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