Citi: No need for more aid
Citigroup, which has received $45 billion of U.S. government funds since October, may have had its fill of taxpayer money.
Citi’s chairman thinks the bank does not need any more capital injections from the government and is confident that it will remain in private hands.
“No, I think actually, particularly with the latest conversion … Citi is actually one of the better capitalized banks in the world,” Richard Parsons told Reuters. He also brushed aside any prospect of the U.S. government nationalizing the bank.
Parson’s comments follow CEO Vikram Pandit’s upbeat memo to staff earlier this week, in which he said the bank was profitable in the first two months of 2009 and confident about its capital strength.
Still, considering that U.S. regulators have been working on a contingency plan to stabilize the bank if its problems mount, it’s worth asking if the sudden wave of euphoria over Citi’s recovery prospects may fade with the latest stock rally.
Other Deals of the Day:
* Japanese non-life insurers Sompo Japan Insurance and NipponKoa Insurance said on Friday they would merge operations in April 2010 to cope with falling demand and rising risks.
* A unit of Indian financial services company Reliance Capital is acquiring 51 percent in UK-based exchange and money transfer firm No 1 Currency, a spokeswoman for the Indian unit said on Friday.
* Sara Lee, which is focusing on its core food and beverage business, is examining a sale of its European household and personal-care business, the Wall Street Journal said.
* Swiss Life said on Friday it was in talks with German insurer Talanx over the Swiss group’s 24 percent stake in pensions specialist MLP, which a source familiar with the situation has told Reuters it wants to reduce.
* The Philippines’ dominant telecommunications firm PLDT said on Friday one of its mobile phone firms will buy about a 20 percent stake in Manila Electric Co for 20.07 billion pesos ($414 million).
* Clothing retailer American Apparel is near a deal to sell a 20 percent stake to British private equity firm Lion Capital for about $80 million, the New York Times said citing people involved in the deal.
* Polish pay-TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat sold an 11 percent stake in phone operator Sferia it bought only two days earlier due to objections raised by minority shareholders, it said on Friday.
(Photo: Richard Parsons. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)