Citigroup profit beats on higher bond trading, LatAm growth

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(Reuters) – Citigroup Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday, helped by higher bond trading revenue and strength in its consumer banking business in Mexico.

Workers are seen in at Citibank offices in the Canary Wharf financial district in London, Britain, November 17, 2017. Picture taken November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The Wall Street bank’s shares rose 2.82 percent in early trading.

Bond trading revenue at Citi rose 9 percent, in sharp contrast to bigger rival JPMorgan Chase & Co, which reported a 10 percent drop in bond trading revenue earlier on Friday.

Citi said in September total fixed income and trading revenue was likely to be flat to slightly higher, while investment banking revenue would be slightly lower to reflect volumes and transactions that may close in the fourth quarter.

Investment banking revenue fell 8 percent to $1.2 billion.

Consumer banking revenue in Latin America rose 20 percent, including a gain on the sale of an asset management business in Mexico. Excluding that gain, revenue rose 8 percent and boosted total global consumer banking revenue up 3 percent on a constant currency basis, the bank said.

Net income for the third-largest U.S. bank by assets rose to $4.62 billion in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $4.13 billion a year earlier.

Earnings per share rose to $1.73 from $1.42, helped by buybacks that reduced shares outstanding by 8 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected earnings per share of $1.69, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv. Total revenue was slightly lower at $18.39 billion, compared with $18.42 billion a year earlier. Operating expenses fell 1 percent to $10.31 billion and the company’s widely watched efficiency ratio improved to 56.1 percent from 56.6 percent a year earlier.

Wells Fargo & Co also reported earnings on Friday that fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Up to Thursday’s close, Citi shares have lost 8 percent of their value for the year, compared with a 5 percent drop in the broader KBW Bank Index.

Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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