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Citigroup Earns Profit as 'Derisked' Bank (Update2)

"Citi continues to navigate a challenging economic environment and delivered another quarter of solid operating results," Vikram Pandit, Citi's Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. "We continued to manage our risk prudently while growing the businesses that are core to our strategy."

The bank, however, saw continued strength in its emerging markets . The regional consumer banking business saw revenue growth of 2% to $8.3 billion over the previous year. Revenue growth of 10% in international businesses was offset by a 9% decline in North America.

Loan growth was strong, with end-of-period loans at Citicorp, which houses the core businesses, increasing 13% on a year-on-year basis. Loans increased by nearly 1% on a sequential basis. On a constant currency basis, loans grew 4% sequentially.

Operating expenses increased 8% from the prior year period to $12.5 billion, reflecting higher expenses from the impact of foreign exchange translation, higher legal and related expenses and ongoing investment spending. However, the bank pointed out that its investments in Asia achieved operating leverage in the third quarter, ahead of schedule and that its investments in Latin America will start paying off in the fourth quarter.

Citigroup's bad bank, Citi Holdings , saw a reduction of $132 billion in assets, with revenues declining 27% to $2.8 billion from the prior year period. The bank said that it had decided to retain its retail partner cards business in its core portfolio after it reported significant strength. "Over the past few years we have significantly strengthened our retail partner cards business and it has earned $2.2 billion pre-tax through the first three quarters. After a careful review of the business, which took into account current trends in credit and technology, we have decided that it makes strategic sense to move retail partner cards and a vast majority of its assets from Citi Holdings into Citicorp. The transition will be completed by the end of this year," the bank said.

In a media call, CFO John Gerspach said OneMain, the bank's other credit card portfolio, will likely remain in Citi Holdings as it was not core to its strategy. He said the pace of asset sales in Citi Holdings will moderate as the bank will likely face challenges in selling its mortgage portfolio under the bad bank.
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