Citibank cancels annual investor conference in Singapore over coronavirus outbreak

Citibank cancels annual investor conference in Singapore over coronavirus outbreak

Temperature screening wuhan virus
Temperature screening was conducted outside of an office building in Singapore on Jan 28. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Citibank has cancelled an annual investor conference originally scheduled for this month, adding to the list of events that have been called off or postponed in Singapore due to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus.

“In light of the coronavirus situation, we have taken the decision to cancel our Asia Pacific Investor Conference,” a spokesperson told CNA on Thursday (Feb 6), while noting that the bank has begun “limiting large group gatherings”.

“The health and safety of our employees and clients is our top priority,” she added.

The Asia Pacific Investor Conference is one of Citibank's largest annual conferences held in the region, attracting over 1,000 institutional investors, issuers and C-suite financial professionals.

Into its 17th edition this year, it was supposed to have been held at the Ritz Carlton from Feb 19 to 20.

The bank does “not have a new date set at this stage”, said the Citi spokesperson.

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Beyond that, the bank continues to “operate normally” and has put in place various contingency plans globally to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

It is taking proactive measures to protect the health and safety of its employees and clients, such as restricting all non-essential business trips to China until further notice and requiring staff who have travelled to China to work from home for 14 days upon return.

At its Singapore office, it has instructed employees with immediate family members who recently visited China, to work from home for 14 days.

It has also stepped up the cleaning and disinfecting of its office premises, while making hand sanitisers readily available. Face masks have also been distributed to employees.

“In all our decisions, we are adhering to the guidelines from the Singapore Ministry of Health and Ministry of Manpower,” the spokesperson said. 

The ongoing outbreak of the new infectious coronavirus has seen some business and media events in Singapore being suspended, such as a large-scale travel fair by the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore.

The annual Singapore Airshow, however, is set to go ahead next week even as 16 companies have pulled out.

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Source: CNA/sk(rw)