UPDATE 3-Citigroup may unveil $400 bln asset sales-sources

viernes 9 de mayo de 2008 10:01 CEST

(Adds more sourcing, details, in first, 14th paragraphs)

By Joseph A. Giannone and Dan Wilchins

NEW YORK May 9 (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N: Cotización), hard hit by the global credit crunch, is expected to present plans to sell roughly $400 billion of extraneous assets when it meets with investors and analysts on Friday, people familiar with the situation said.

Newly-installed Chief Executive Vikram Pandit, scrambling to slash Citi's costs and get past credit market problems, also intends to reaffirm his promise to cut annual expenses at the largest U.S. bank by roughly 20 percent, one of the sources told Reuters on Thursday.

Citigroup declined to comment.

The sales could amount to nearly 20 percent of Citi's current assets, and according to the Financial Times, which first reported the story on Thursday, would take place over several years.

Although Citi has said previously that it plans to shed assets to improve its capital position, the magnitude of the potential sales struck some analysts as worrisome.

"The only reason you'd sell off that many assets is you have a lot more losses coming than you originally thought," said Jim Huguet, co-chief executive at fund manager Great Companies LLC, which does not own Citi shares.

Since late last year, Citi has recorded more than $45 billion of writedowns and credit losses, raised more than $40 billion of new capital including $2 billion of preferrd shares this week, and slashed its dividend 41 percent.   Continuación...