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Citi To Sell Consumer Finance Business To Gjensidige Bank In Norway

To reduce assets, tightly manage risks and optimize the value of assets in Citi Holdings

Citi has entered into an agreement to sell its Norwegian consumer finance business, representing approximately NOK2.7 billion ($470 million) in gross assets, to Gjensidige Bank, a part of a Norwegian financial services group, Gjensidige.

Reportedly, the transaction is in line with Citi’s goal to reduce assets, tightly manage risks and optimize the value of assets in Citi Holdings, while working to generate long-term profitability and growth from Citicorp, which comprises its core franchise. The bank has said that the transaction does not affect its Norwegian capital markets and institutional banking business, and it will continue to provide services to its clients, including major companies, financial institutions and the public sector, as well as subsidiaries of foreign multinational companies.

Michael Corbat, CEO of Citi Holdings, said: “This is the second transaction in western Europe in as many weeks, and exemplifies the progress we are making in our goal to reduce assets in Citi Holdings and to focus on our core franchise. Citi will continue to pursue opportunities within Citi Holdings that create the most value for stakeholders.”

Pal Rokke, chief country officer for Citi Norway, said: “We are pleased with this transaction and believe the outcome is a positive one for the employees and customers of Citi Norway’s consumer finance business. Norway remains an important market for Citi, we have been here for 36 years, and this transaction allows us to focus on our corporate businesses, where our talented teams remain central to Citi’s global strategy.”

The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2009. However, it is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.