The race for valued Non-Resident Indian (NRI) custom is no longer solely the realm of Indian banking institutions as global networks weigh up the rewards of wooing a multi-billion-dollar market. For NRIs the rewards are great for investment in India but Indian bank executives recently warned that the benefits of high interest rates for non-repatriable rupee (NRNRR) deposits would not last forever. In Hong Kong, as in other centres with a large Indian community, banks are creating better services directed towards NRIs and their business. A spokesman for Citibank's NRI Centre in Hong Kong said there were about 21,000 NRIs in Hong Kong, making up about 7,000 households. Citibank caters to about 1,000 of those households. The bank was aware of the changing needs of overseas Indians. 'The needs of overseas Indians range from investments in rupees for commitments at home and investments in property in India, to availing themselves of high returns among investment choices in various currencies and diversifying their investments across world-wide markets to cater for their spreading business needs,' the spokesman said. Rates offered by Citibank include up to 22.78 per cent per annum on five-year repatriable deposits. Foreign currency deposits under the Citibank Globe Deposit programme have returns of up to five per cent on dollar deposits. The spokesman said returning Indians could retain a part of their foreign currency savings under special foreign currency deposits with Citibank in India, catering to Reserve Bank of India guidelines. 'If returning Indians want to convert their savings to Indian rupees, there are attractive fixed deposits and other accounts,' he said. The bank offers premium deposits and market-linked deposits. Customers are provided with on-line real time access to their accounts.