Monday, September 10, 2007

Citi eyes international acquisitions

by Shanny Basar from Financial News Online US

Last year, Citi CEO Chuck Prince admitted his frustration with the lack of movement in the bank’s share price ... he had come under pressure from shareholders including the bank’s largest investor, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, to improve the bank’s performance. In response to the criticism, Prince appointed Robert Druskin as chief operating officer to oversee a cost-cutting review that includes shedding 17,000 jobs and saving $10bn over three years. Meantime, the bank has carried out a series of overseas acquisitions. Citi, whose European acquisitions in the past year include UK internet bank Egg and investment manager Quilter, as well as a 20% stake in Turkey’s Akbank, is thought to be eyeing several potential banking takeovers outside the US. Outside Europe, Citi’s acquisitions include Old Lane, the US hedge fund run by former Morgan Stanley banker Vikram Pandit, and Nikko Cordial, the Japanese brokerage.

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