Citigroup Falls As China, Taiwan Retail Banking Exits Near By

© Reuters.

By Dhirendra Tripathi – Citigroup Shares (NYSE:) traded down 0.8% in Tuesday’s premarket on reports that the lender is set to sell retail banking operations in Taiwan and mainland China, marking its withdrawal from two of its largest markets for this business in Asia-Pacific.

The exits are part of Citigroup’s planned withdrawal from retail banking operations in 13 countries, led by chief executive Jane Fraser. Since taking office in February, Fraser has focused the bank’s resources on its wealth management and institutional client businesses in those countries. So far, it has concluded agreements with buyers for retail in seven countries.

Citigroup stock has struggled since the April disclosure. It has fallen more than 8% since then, while the has gained 13% over the same period.

Exit-related costs weighed on the bank’s results in the fourth quarter. Total revenue rose 1% from a year earlier to $17 billion, while expenses climbed 18% to $13 billion. Net income fell 26% to $3.2 billion.

Announcement of a deal with Singapore’s DBS for Taiwanese operations could come before the end of this month, the Wall Street Journal said. The transaction is expected to be valued between $1.8 billion and $2.2 billion, he added.

According to Bloomberg, the bank aims to sign an agreement with Taiwan’s Fubon Financial in the coming weeks for the sale of its mainland assets for around $1.5 billion.

According to a statement last week that was not part of the April announcement, Citigroup said it would exit retail, small business and middle-market banking in Mexico.

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