NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Citigroup (C) rose 1.91% to $53.39 in afternoon trading Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported the bank would offer mortgages at discounted interest rates as it tries to assist borrowers with low incomes or histories of sub-prime credit.
The Journal reports the bank, which is the seventh-largest mortgage lender, agreed to fund 15-year fixed mortgages with the discounted rates. The decision comes after Bank of America (BAC) agreed to start a similar program earlier this month.
Under this new program, borrowers can pay "points," upfront fees that reduce the interest rate on a mortgage, to benefit from a greater rate discount than what they would ordinarily receive at other institutions. A point equates to 1% of the loan amount, and customers would ordinarily get a 0.25% discount on the mortgage rates for paying it. Under the new program, customers would receive a 0.5% discount.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CITIGROUP INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate CITIGROUP INC (C) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."