NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Citigroup (C) are flat at $54.40 in pre-market trade after it was reported that the company will announce the sale of its long-standing retail business in Japan to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. as it moves ahead with efforts to cut back on its less profitable consumer businesses worldwide, the Wall Street Journal reports..
Citigroup and the Japanese bank will announce Thursday a deal worth around 40 billion yen ($331 million), sources told the Journal.
Sumitomo Mitsui will take over Citi's retail deposits, customers and employees, the sources said. The Tokyo lender is the core banking unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) .
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Citi started approaching potential buyers in August, sources added, as it slims down its local operations by pulling out of more than 10 countries.
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. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."