Citigroup CEO sees trading revenue up 10% in Q4, but investment banking sliding

FILE PHOTO: The logo for Citibank is seen on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Citigroup Inc expects revenue in its trading division to rise 10% in the current quarter from a year earlier, but investment banking fees will be down 60% in line with the industry, Chief Executive Jane Fraser said on Wednesday.

Trading desks have been a surprise bright spot for some of the largest U.S. banks this year as clients rejig their portfolios across asset classes in response to the chill in the markets.

“We’re hoping 10% (increase) in markets based on what we have seen in October and November,” Fraser told the Goldman Sachs Financial Services conference.

But investment bankers on Wall Street who were drowning in deals in 2021 have seen activity slump as volatility in the capital markets, geopolitical tensions and risk-off sentiment together curb appetite for deals.

With stock market listings on ice and companies slamming the brakes on dealmaking, investment banking revenues have declined sharply across the industry. The harsh operating environment has also prompted job cuts at major lenders with executives warning of more pain ahead.

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Separately, in line with previously announced plans to simplify the global banking giant, Fraser said that Citi was moving on with divestitures, exiting consumer banking businesses in non-core international markets.

“From the strategic perspective, I think we’re all pleased with the progress and how we’re beginning to see some of the early results come through in the data,” Fraser added.

Citi is in advanced talks with suitors looking to buy its Mexican retail bank Banamex, according to media reports earlier this week. Citi in January had said it was looking for a buyer for the unit.

Citigroup’s acquisition of Banamex for $12.5 billion in 2001 was the largest ever in Mexico at the time.

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar and Manya Saini; Editing by Franklin Paul and Leslie Adler)