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Citigroup Executives Reap Big Profit on Trades

Updated from 2:07 p.m. EDT

Citigroup (C - Get Report) executives and directors who bought a combined 7.5 million shares of the beleaguered firm last week have already made paper profits of some $2.2 million, according to regulatory filings.

Director Roberto Hernandez purchased 6 million shares on March 2 at an average price of $1.25 a share. Latin America CEO Manuel Medina-Mora bought 1.5 million shares at an average price of $1.24 a share. Vice Chairman Lewis Kaden bought 100,000 shares and Controller John Gerspach bought 65,000 shares, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

The insider stock purchases were the first since Jan. 14, Bloomberg said.

A spokeswoman declined to comment to Bloomberg on the trades.

The insider stock purchases came ahead of a big surge in the bank's stock surge earlier this week, after CEO Vikram Pandit said the company had been profitable in the first two months of the year and having the best quarter since the third quarter of 2007, according to a memo distributed late Monday. Shares rallied 38% on Tuesday and fueled the global markets to rally that day as well.

One Citi insider who lost money on a recent trade is former chairman Sir Win Bischoff, who reportedly sold 90,423 shares of common stock on March 2 an average price of $1.32 a share to make a paltry $120,000 on the sale.

Bischoff, who was removed from his position as chairman last month amid criticism of the company's precarious position, was replaced by Citi's lead director Richard Parsons, the former Time Warner (TWX - Get Report) chairman. The news came less than a week after Citi announced, in conjunction with a huge fourth-quarter loss, that it would split the company into a good bank/bad bank organization.

Bischoff was elected chairman of the board in late 2007 after former CEO and chairman Charles Prince was forced to resign. Vikram Pandit succeeded Prince as CEO.

Shares of Citi, which traded below $1 last week, have recouped 55% of their value this week. The stock was most recently trading up 4.2% to $1.61.

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