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April 16, 2013

Citi's Profit Soars as Shift Pays Off

“Citigroup Inc. escaped the mortgage slowdown affecting some rivals thanks to its smaller presence in the U.S. market for home loans and a newfound zeal for keeping a lid on expenses.

The third-largest U.S. bank by assets said Monday that its first-quarter net income rose 30% to $3.81 billion, or $1.23 a share, compared with $2.93 billion, or 95 cents a share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue increased 3% to $20.49 billion.

The results stand in contrast to those of rivals J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., which saw first-quarter revenue decline as a boom in mortgage refinancing began to wane.

A big part of Citigroup’s growth came from capital-markets activities, where revenue jumped 31% to $6.98 billion. But Citigroup also reduced its mortgage operations after the financial crisis, and instead focused on its strength in international markets such as Latin America to counter slow growth in the U.S.”

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Read full Wall Street Journal article here

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