According to Bloomberg, Citigroup (C - Free Report) is set to acquire residential mortgages and unsecured loans by paying £4.9 billion ($6.4 billion). The assets are put up for sale by the UK Asset Resolution Limited (UKAR), the U.K. government’s so-called “bad bank”.
UKAR was set up in October 2010 with the task of winding down the assets of two failed legacy banks which were bailed out during the crisis — Bradford & Bingley plc (B&B) and Northern Rock Asset Management plc (NRAM). The firm is likely to close the sale of two portfolios within the next few weeks. Notably, Pacific Investment Management Co. is the financier for the deal.
“This is a significant step in the reduction and simplification of our balance sheet,” said Ian Hares, chief executive officer of UKAR. Citigroup in London refrained from comments. Notably, balance sheet of UKAR has been reduced by 93% since its initiation to £8 billion through sale of assets.
Notably, in the past years, multi-billion-pound portfolios have been sold to firms including Blackstone Group LP (BX - Free Report) , Cerberus Capital Management LP and a group led by Barclays Plc (BCS - Free Report) , by the British government.
Therefore, the completion of the transaction would help Citigroup in diversifying its loan portfolio.
Currently, Citigroup carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares of the company have gained around 22.6% over the last three months. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
A worth considering bank includes Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB - Free Report) , with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The stock has been witnessing upward estimate revisions for the past 60 days and has gained more than 8%, over the past three months.
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