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Citigroup is launching a team in Japan that focuses on growth at mid-market companies

Citigroup is trying to strengthen its business with mid-market companies in Japan, while the Wall Street bank is accelerating efforts around the world to broaden its customer base.

The US company has set up a team in Tokyo to offer them tailor-made products in areas ranging from global cash management to financing, under the Citi Commercial Bank brand, a statement said on Monday. Yutaka Naito will lead the group that focuses on companies with cross-border business needs.

Citigroup began hiring hundreds of employees around the world two years ago to boost its commercial brand, banking on the fact that midsize companies need similar tools from international banks as large corporate clients do. The lender has launched the service in recent years in countries from France to Germany and Canada, as well as some other Asian locations.

Japan has about 9,000 medium-sized companies, according to the country’s Ministry of Commerce, which also counts companies that employ up to 2,000 workers while meeting a number of other conditions. The government is stepping up efforts to help these entities grow by offering subsidies for capital investments and support for foreign expansion.

The latest move “reaffirms our commitment to serving the Japanese market,” Gunjan Kalra, head of Japan, North Asia and Australia, and South Asia for Citi Commercial Bank, said in the statement. Japan is “home to many new and innovative companies, with global connections and cross-border business needs,” she said.

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