Citigroup ( C) is in the process of winding down its nearly 10% stake in India's HDFC (Housing Development and Finance Corporation). The bank will sell 145.26 million shares in the leading housing finance company as part of a block trade, with an offer range of 630 and 730 rupees, according to Financial Times. At the upper range, the bank will raise $2.1 billion from the sale. The final price will be announced Friday morning. Citigroup had already pared its stake in HDFC from 11.4% to under 10% last June. At that time, the bank had said it was a mere response to the anticipated changes to its capital structure under Basel III and was not a reflection of its outlook on HDFC or the Indian market. Analysts believe the sale may be linked to an anticipated writedown the bank may have to take if Morgan Stanley ( MS) exercises its option to buy an additional 14% stake in Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joint venture.
Friday also brings economic data in the form of new homes sales data at 10:00 a.m. St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard will be speaking in New York about housing and monetary policy. His comments may get attention in light of the Fed's recent calls for policy action to boost housing.