Citigroup: Investment bank remains strong in Q4, spending increases

Jan 14 (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc on Friday reported a 26% drop in fourth-quarter profit as buoyancy in investment banking was offset by higher spending.

The bank posted a profit of $3.2 billion (2.80 billion euros), or $1.46 per share, for the quarter ended December 31, against $4.3 billion, or 1, $92 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding the impact of divestment-related costs in Asia, the bank earned $1.99 per share.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.38 per share, according to data from Refinitiv IBES.

Citigroup’s investment bank had a strong quarter on strong M&A activity. Revenue from institutional clients rose 4%, driven by a 43% jump in commission fees.

This made it possible to partially cushion the 8% increase, excluding the impact of disposals in Asia, in the bank’s operating expenses, which is continuing to reduce its activities outside the United States as part of a strategic overhaul. led by Executive Director Jane Fraser.

Citigroup announced earlier on Friday an agreement to sell its retail banking operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to Singapore’s United Overseas Bank group for $3.7 billion.

In New York, Citigroup shares fell more than 2.3% in pre-market transactions. (Report Niket Nishant in Bangalore and David Henry in New York; French version Dina Kartit, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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