Citi Global Transaction Services has launched direct custody and clearing services in Bangladesh. As part of these services, the bank will perform equity and fixed-income securities settlements, safekeeping, pre-matching, registration, corporate actions, income collection, cash management, and foreign exchange.

Citi is already on the ground in Dhaka, where its operation is run by Mamun Rashid, and it acts as a full-service bank and correspondent banking service provider.

The Bangladesh equities market has been very vibrant for a number of years and subject to perennial booms and busts. Ten years ago, during a bull run, there was a ôkerb marketö thriving in Dhaka and, as the last of its kind in Asia, it was a memorable sight to behold. A kerb market is where share dealers, retail investors and speculators congregate on the street outside the stockmarket in their hundreds, and trade physical scrip, all making a huge racket and carrying bundles of share certificates and bags of banknotes. CitiÆs custody and settlement service will make things more efficient in Dhaka, but a lot less colourful.