November 5, 2008 Wednesday

Citi launches special home loan for rich

By Joyce Teo, Property Correspondent

WELL-HEELED banking customers, with properties in Singapore and abroad, are being offered a first-of-its-kind product by Citibank Singapore.

The product, launched yesterday, allows these affluent types to consolidate their mortgage financing on residential properties held here and abroad into an all-in-one overdraft that they can use at their convenience.

These clients are Citigold Select customers - who have liquid assets of at least $1 million - and have properties in multiple countries.

Citi says the key benefit of the product is that these clients have a single point of contact, which allows them the speed to act as and when they need investment funds.

This is even more important in the current volatile market, where attractive opportunities are expected to surface.

'These individuals understand the value of having a consolidated line of credit and a single point of contact, both of which go towards facilitating timely investment decisions,' said Citi Singapore's head of commercial markets, Mr Tan Chia Seng

Citibank's clients can use a range of currencies, such as the Singapore dollar, US dollar, Australian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, euro, Japanese yen, British pound and Swiss franc. They can also switch currencies seamlessly.

Currently, the product is available only in Singapore and for properties in six markets - Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and Britain.

Up to 70 per cent of the value of each property in these markets can be aggregated into the overdraft facility.

Citi Singapore's head of consumer markets, Mr Anil Wadhwani, said the product offers ease, speed and convenience from a single window, since clients need only speak with one officer here for all their properties, instead of different ones in different markets.

Mr Tan said the product evolved from client's feedback and that they have worked on it for a year.

Interest rates are pegged to the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate or the London Interbank Offered Rate. Citibank declined to reveal the spread.