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Citigroup

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, the nation's biggest bank, is adding to its global consumer business with the acquisition of South Korean lender

KorAm Bank

.

The $2.73 billion deal comes at a time when many of Citigroup's domestic competitors are gobbling up U.S. banks. But the KorAm acquisition is consistent with Citigroup's strategy over the past few years of building its overseas consumer business piece by piece.

In buying KorAm, Citigroup gets a bank with 200 branches and $36 billion in assets. Prior to the deal, Citigroup only had a small presence in South Korea.

In recent years, Citigroup bulked up its global business with deals for Poland's

Bank Handlowy

and Mexico's

Banamex

.

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The Citigroup transaction comes on the heels of a number of big bank deals in the U.S., including

J.P. Morgan Chase's

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pending purchase of

Bank One

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and

Bank of America's

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acquisition of

Fleet Financial

.

Citigroup is paying a 6.7% premium to the average closing price of KorAm stock for the past 30 days on the Korean Stock Exchange. But the offer is slightly lower that KorAm's closing price on Friday.