Mastercard Inc. named the head of Citigroup Inc.'s Asia Pacific operations, Ajay Banga, as its new president and chief operating officer.

The appointment makes Banga the heir apparent to Chief Executive Robert Selander and comes as MasterCard has faced increasing stress over credit-card charge-offs.

At MasterCard, Banga, 49 years old, will be responsible for business operations including customer relationships, products, services, marketing and technology. He will report to Selander.

"Ajay's experience in diverse industries and diverse geographies will reinforce and strengthen our global competencies as electronic payments continue to accelerate worldwide. With his expertise and leadership," Selander said. "We hope to capture even more of the significant global payments opportunity."

Banga is leaving Citigroup after 13 years and will assume his new role at MasterCard Aug. 31.

As the chief executive of Citgroup's Asia Pacific region, a role he assumed last year, Banga was responsible for institutional banking, alternative investments, wealth management, consumer banking and credit cards, among other things.

He joined the company in 1996 and previously served as business head of CitiFinancial and the U.S. consumer assets division. Banga later oversaw Citi's international global consumer group, which included all credit card and consumer banking operations outside North America.

"I want to thank Ajay for his leadership and for the significant contributions he has made to building the great global franchise that Citi is today," Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said. "Our Asia Pacific executive committee and colleagues across the region are to be commended for their extraordinary client focus and success in building a unified Citi in this important part of the world and we look forward to continuing to build upon that success."

Citigroup said a successor will be named shortly.

Citigroup and MasterCard shares were inactive in recent after-hours trading. Citigroup's stock has lost more than half its value this year, while MasterCard is up 13%.

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