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MarketWatch MarketPulseApr 15, 2021
Citigroup Q1 profit more than trebles as it announces shake-up of consumer business in Asia and EMEA
Citigroup Inc. shares jumped 3% in premarket trade Thursday, after the bank posted record profit for the first quarter as it released $1.8 billion from its loan loss reserves and announced a shake-up of its Asia and EMEA consumer banking business. The company posted net income of $7.9 billion, or $3.62 as share, for the quarter, more than triple the $2.5 billion, or $1.06 a share, posted in the year-earlier period. Revenue edged down to $19.3 billion from $20.7 billion. The FactSet consensus was for $2.60 in EPS and $18.8 billion of revenue. "It's been a better than expected start to the year, and we are optimistic about the macro environment," Chief Executive Jane Fraser said in a statement. The record net income was driven by a strong performance at the bank's institutional clients group and the big release from loan loss reserves/ And while global consumer banking revenue was down sequentially due to the pandemic, "this is the healthiest we have seen the consumer emerge from a crisis in recent history," she said. Citi is now planning to overhaul its global consumer banking business to focus in areas it has the greatest scale and growth potential. The bank will focus its presence in Asia and EMEA on four centers; Singapore, Hong Kong, the UAE and London. It will close its consumer franchises in 13 centers, namely Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Citi had $666 billion of loans at quarter-end, down 8% from a year ago. Deposits stood at $1.3 trillion, up 10%. Shares have gained 18% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 have both gained about 10%.

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