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Citigroup Profit Drops 36% on Trading Slump, Rising Expenses

July 14 (Reuters) - Citigroup beat analysts' estimates for second-quarter profit on Friday as higher interest payments from borrowers partly countered a blow to its Wall Street businesses from a slump in trading.

The bank's net income tumbled 36% to $2.92 billion, or $1.33 per share, in the three months to June 30. The profit was weighed down by higher costs for layoffs and increased provisions for credit losses, the bank said.

In markets, "clients stood on the sidelines in April while the debt ceiling played out," CEO Jane Fraser said in a statement. Meanwhile, "the long-awaited rebound in investment banking has yet to materialize, making for a disappointing quarter."

Markets revenue declined 13% to $4.6 billion, while and investment banking fees plunged 24% to $612 million.

The drop in Citi's net income contrasted with higher profits at JPMorgan Chase, which earned more from interest payments and benefited from the purchase of First Republic Bank, and at Wells Fargo.

Citi's net interest income (NII) jumped 18% at the most global U.S. lender, mirroring gains at JPMorgan and Wells Fargo. NII measures the difference between what banks earn on loans and pay out on deposits.

The results come amid rising expectations that the Federal Reserve's hefty rate hikes that have boosted profits at big U.S. banks in the past few quarters may be nearing an end. Citigroup raised its guidance for NII for the full year by $1 billion.

"The U.S. economy is proving to be quite resilient, with strong balance sheets both on the consumer side and the corporate side," CFO Mark Mason said told reporters on a conference call.

Delinquency rates in credit cards and other retail lines are rising and expected to reach "normal levels" by the end of the year, he said.

Citi posted double-digit revenue growth each in its services unit as well as treasury and trade solutions (TTS), a business executives have described as the company's crown jewel.

Excluding one-off items, Citi earned $1.37 per share, topping the $1.30 expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Mason said the bank had not decided yet on potential share buybacks in the third quarter in light of rising capital requirements from the Federal Reserve.

Citigroup is in talks with the Fed to better understand changes that led to a higher capital buffer after it passed an annual health check. Citi is not contesting the Fed, but trying to understand methodology changes, he added.

Shares of the New York-based lender fell 2.5%. JPMorgan and Wells Fargo rose slightly.

Reporting by Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Lananh Nguyen and Nick Zieminski

Source: Reuters

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