Capital markets, international lending boosts Citi

NEW YORK CITY - US banking giant Citigroup Monday reported a 26.2 per cent jump in quarterly earnings as a strong performance from its securities and investment banking division helped offset the drag of lower mortgage originations.

Excluding the effects of a prior-year asset sale and some debt cost effects, Citi reported net income of US$3.9 billion (S$5 billion) on US$20.0 billion in revenues, up 26.7 per cent from the year-ago period.

The profits translated into US$1.25 per share, compared with analyst expectations of US$1.18.

Citi chief executive Michael Corbat pointed to a solid performance in Asia and Latin America, both of which saw year-on-year revenue and profit growth.

"Our businesses performed well during the quarter and these results are well balanced through our products and geographies, especially in the emerging markets, where growth is being challenged," Corbat said.

Like peer banks, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, Citi warned that the recent jump in interest rates would drag on North American mortgage originations.

Citi's retail banking revenues declined 4 per cent to US$1.6 billion, in part due to lower mortgage origination and servicing revenues.

Citi said its securities and banking division reported particularly strong growth, revenues jumping 25 per cent to US$6.8 billion.