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is looking to create joint ventures with third parties as a way of shedding businesses it doesn't want as opposed to trying to sell the noncore assets outright, a published report says.

The deals would be similar to what Citigroup arranged when it combined its wealth-management unit Smith Barney with

Morgan Stanley's

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brokerage, giving Morgan Stanley 51% control of the joint venture, the

New York Post


Citigroup is looking to strike those types of partnerships with noncore assets such as CitiFinancial, CitiMortgages, Primerica, Japanese brokerage Nikko Cordial and the bank's private-label credit card business.



reported sources as saying the joint venture deals aren't imminent but are in the works.

Last week, Citigroup reached a deal with the U.S. government in which the government will raise its stake in the embattled bank.

Meanwhile, Citigroup said it will lower mortgage payments for some homeowners to an average of $500 a month for three months as part of a new program to help the unemployed.

Customers who may qualify for assistance include those that are 60 days or more past due on their mortgages or in foreclosure, can pay the reduced amount and have a first mortgage loan that meets certain specifications.

Citigroup said if customers are still without jobs after three months their mortgages will be handled on a case-by-case basis to come up with the best payment option.

This article was written by a staff member of The Associated Press contributed to this report.