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Citigroup Expands in China, Silent on Job Cut Reports

Citigroup plans to double its number of outlets in China this year to more than 30, Chairman and Chief Executive Charles Prince said on Thursday.

Citigroup was among the first batch of four foreign banks that won approval on March 20 to incorporate as local banks in China, allowing them near-unfettered
access to $2 trillion in household savings.

"We intend to accelerate our network expansion with the aim of reaching more than 30 outlets by the end of 2007," Prince told reporters. Citigroup now has 16 outlets on the mainland.

He declined to comment on reports that Citigroup might cut 15,000 jobs as shareholders demand better performance and a higher stock price.

Prince also declined comment when asked whether Citigroup might be interested in buying Dutch bank ABN AMRO, which is in talks to be taken over by Britain's Barclays.

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