Goldman Tells Clients to Bet on Citigroup Before Earnings

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Goldman Sachs has told clients to bet on shares in Citigroup before fourth-quarter earnings later this month as new CEO Michael Corbat cuts costs and withdraws from some markets.

Bloomberg reports that investors should buy call options on shares in Citigroup before the bank announces its earnings results January 17th, Goldman said Friday in a note to clients.

Calls are contracts that provide the right to buy shares at a certain price. The New York-based firm added Citigroup to its 'conviction buy list' and said shares could rise to $49 within a year.

Corbat, who replaced Vikram Pandit in October, is laying off thousands of workers and pulling out of some countries as he seeks to reduce costs at Citigroup. His cost-cutting plans, announced last month, make the New York-based bank the 'best large-cap restructuring story', Goldman Sachs analysts led by Richard Ramsden said in another note.

The news organisation also reports that Citigroup will seek Federal Reserve approval to boost shareholder returns by buying back a small amount of stock under an annual capital plan, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The bank probably won’t request a dividend increase and the buyback request may be 'minimal', according to the Journal, which cited unidentified people familiar with the plan.

Bloomberg also reports that Citigroup has hired Alfredo Capote from Goldman to oversee investment-banking operations in Mexico.

Capote, who was head of investment banking for Goldman Sachs Mexico, started at Citigroup last month, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News and confirmed by Rob Julavits, a spokesman for the New York-based bank.

Goldman Sachs Tells Clients to Bet on Citigroup Before Earnings

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