Citi Faces Millions in Losses, Reshuffles Prime Brokerage

Anonymous sources have said that the firm is facing a loss of $180 million due to high-risk FX bets.

Citigroup Inc, a US-based multinational investment bank and financial services corporation, is reportedly moving around its prime brokerage business, according to an internal memo seen by news outlets Bloomberg and Reuters.

The reshuffling coincides with reports from Bloomberg that the unit might lose millions on a bad loan to an Asian hedge fund. Specifically, the firm is facing a loss of $180 million due to high-risk foreign exchange (forex) bets, anonymous sources speaking to the outlet said.

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Citi has declined to comment on the reported losses, but the article from Bloomberg said that the bank and the hedge fund are currently in talks as to how the positions should be valued.

The news of a potential loss follows on the heels of John Gerspach, the Chief Financial Officer of Citigroup, warning that the firm was likely to see a year-over-year decline in fixed-income trading revenue in the fourth quarter, as momentum in rates and currency trading achieved in the third quarter, hasn’t continued into the current period.

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Prime Brokerage Changes for Citigroup

The changes will see Citi’s forex prime brokerage business move out of the US bank’s currency trading division to be under the same umbrella as its prime financing and securities services business, the memo said.

Chris Perkins has been put in charge to lead the new forex prime brokerage business. Perkins is also responsible for the oversight of Citi’s over-the-counter (OTC) clearing business.

He will be taking over the role from Sanjay Madgavkar, the previous head of the forex prime brokerage unit, who is leaving Citigroup after working there for more than two decades, Bloomberg’s source said.

The restructuring of its prime brokerage unit follows on from Citigroup expanding its prime finance business. Part of the firm’s equity trading division, the unit helps hedge funds borrow stocks, funding, transactions, and risk management.

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