EUROPE – Citi Securities and Fund Services has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ING's custody and securities services business in seven Central and Eastern European markets.

The acquisition, for which financial terms have not been disclosed, is part of Citi's plans to strengthen its franchise in Eastern Europe.

The company said the deal would enable it to offer investors, intermediaries and issuers "comprehensive" securities services in the region through a strengthened country presence.

ING's businesses, which have €110bn in assets under custody, offer local custody and securities services in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Citi added that, once implemented, the addition of Bulgaria would extend its custody network coverage to more than 95 markets and its proprietary custody network to 62 markets.

Neeraj Sahai, head of securities and fund services at Citi, said ING was one of the first agents to identify the region's "rich opportunities", establishing an office network that provided "unparalleled" geographic coverage and local expertise.