Abu Dhabi injects 7.5 billion dlrs into Citigroup

NEW YORK - Citigroup, reeling from the US housing slump and a related credit squeeze, will receive a 7.5-billion-dollar injection from the Abu Dhabi government, the US bank said.

By (AFP)

Published: Tue 27 Nov 2007, 6:24 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:22 PM

America’s second-biggest banking group, Citigroup said Monday it had agreed to sell the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) 7.5 billion dollars’ worth of ‘equity units,’ with mandatory conversion into common shares, elevating the ADIA’s total holding in Citigroup to 4.9 percent.

‘This investment, from one of the world’s leading and most sophisticated equity investors, provides further capital to allow Citi to pursue attractive opportunities to grow its business,’ Win Bischoff, Citigroup’s acting chief executive said in a statement.

The agreement will build ‘on a series of actions we have taken over the past several months to strengthen our capital base,’ said Bischoff.

‘This investment also enables us to access capital in an efficient manner, and is consistent with our strategy of maintaining a balance sheet that benefits from highly diverse sources of funding in terms of both geography and type of security,’ he added.

ADIA has agreed to limit its holding in Citigroup to no more than 4.9 percent, and it will not receive special rights of ownership or control, the banking group said in its statement.

ADIA will not have any role in the bank’s management or governance, nor the right to designate a member of the bank’s board of directors, usually a privilege accorded large shareholders.

The investment is expected to close within the next several days, the bank said.

The investment underscores the growing financial power of the United Arab Emirates, which have increasingly invested in large firms and world stock markets in recent months as their revenues have skyrocketed with oil prices approaching 100 dollars a barrel.

‘Citi possesses a unique position in the financial markets throughout the world,’ ADIA’s Managing Director, Shaikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, said in the statement issued by Citigroup.

‘We see in Citi a highly respected company with a premier brand and with tremendous opportunities for growth,’ he said. ‘This investment reflects our confidence in Citi’s potential to build shareholder value.’

Meanwhile, CNBC said Monday that Citibroup was planning ‘large’ job cuts seven months after it announced a mass layoff of 17,000 employees.

On November 5 Citigroup revealed it was facing likely investment writeoffs of between eight and 11 billion dollars, mostly related to the meltdown in the market for securities backed by high-risk subprime mortgages.

The figures led to the resignation of Citigroup chairman Charles Prince, who followed Merrill Lynch’s chief Stanley O’Neal in quitting after their banks reported massive losses from dealing in low grade mortgage loans.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs believe the company could be forced to absorb eventual writeoffs of up to 15 billion dollars in the coming quarters as the US housing and credit markets show no sign of improving.

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