NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Citigroup's ( C - Get Report) stock price has lagged the performance of the other big U.S. financials in recent days, apparently over concerns about its exposure to Dubai's debt problems, but there may be an opportunity in the pullback. Citigroup is by far the most global of U.S. banks, as many others cut back on foreign lending after getting burned during emerging markets crises in the 1990's, Dick Bove, analyst at Rochdale Securities, told CNBC Monday. The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday estimated Citigroup's exposure to Dubai World, the multi-billion dollar holding company owned by the Dubai government that has temporarily stopped paying its debts, at $1.9 billion, a relatively small sum for a bank with nearly $2 trillion in assets. Still, the uncertainty seems to be roiling Citigroup's stock price. A Citigroup spokesman declined to comment on the bank's exposure. Since the start of trading on Nov. 27, Citigroup's stock has underperformed that of all its major U.S. peers, which include Bank of America ( BAC - Get Report), JPMorgan Chase ( JPM - Get Report), Wells Fargo ( WFC - Get Report) and Goldman Sachs ( GS). The shares closed at $4.28 on Nov. 23, and fell as low as $3.95 in intraday trading on Nov. 27 -- the day the Dubai news hit the the market -- before closing at $4.06. It gained a nickel in Monday's session to finish at $4.11, a level that still translates to a 36% decline for the past 52 weeks. While the stock was called slightly higher in premarket action on Tuesday, the relative slide still allows investors to take another look at Citigroup in light of an apparently little-noticed report Rochdale's Bove sent out Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday.
In his report, Bove analyzed the capital positions of the 30 largest U.S. banks. He argued Citigroup is one of only four he believes are in a position to pay back the U.S. government's TARP investment without issuing more equity. The other three are State Street Corp ( STT - Get Report), Northern Trust ( NTRS - Get Report), and First Horizon National Corp. ( FHN - Get Report). Investors appear have taken their attention away from capital issues for the moment, but they are likely to end up having a much bigger impact on Citigroup's long-term prospects than anything currently happening in Dubai. -- Written by Dan Freed in New York. Read More: Citigroup is either the cheapest or the most expensive financial stock, depending on what measure you use. Citigroup's success in deleveraging its balance sheet.