First Union Corp. and Citicorp are expanding their overseas networks with new offices.
First Union has opened a representative office in Djakarta, Indonesia, and has received local government approval to open representative offices in Istanbul and Cairo.
And Citicorp obtained Vietnamese government approval to open a branch in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. Citicorp established representative offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in 1993 and 1994, and opened its first branch in Hanoi a year later.
Citicorp also announced that it was opening eight mini-branches in Lima, Peru, raising its branch total in the country to 11.
First Union said its office in Indonesia as well as the planned offices for Turkey and Egypt will be used to facilitate trade finance and as business development and service centers for local financial institution customers.
"These are high-growth markets for trade finance and sophisticated correspondent banking services,"said Andy Oleksiw, managing director of First Union's international division.
He mentioned expanded processing, automated payment services, asset securitization, and syndication programs as among the services First Union will offer to local banks in those countries.
First Union added that it is focusing its international development on serving banks in emerging-market countries with strong trade and payment flows to the United States.
"This is a natural evolution of our business," said Steven Bash, senior vice president in First Union's International Division.
"Each of these markets continues to show good economic progress and strong growth in trade, and we look forward to expanding capabilities in these important regions."
First Union has some 2,400 correspondent banking relationships around the world and offices in London, South Africa, and Hong Kong. The bank last year opened a representative office in Bombay, India.