SEOUL -- Citibank said it would open three more South Korean branches in the second half of this year, bringing the total in the country to 12.

"We will open two more branches in Seoul and one in Pusan," a spokesman said, explaining that advertising has made local people more familiar with Citibank.

The New York bank has been operating in South Korea since 1967.

The expansion, according to the spokesman, is part of a five-year plan to increase branches to 15. There are now eight branches in Seoul and one in the port city of Pusan.

Customer deposits at the Citicorp unit's Korean branches last year totaled $889 million, while loans reached $635 million.

Net earnings totaled $17 million, the spokesman said.

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