Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Qatar wealth fund keen to buy U.S.'s Citigroup shares: report (C)

First up, Reuters:
Qatar Investment Authority, the country's sovereign wealth fund, is keen to buy part of the U.S. Treasury's stake in Citigroup Inc (C.N), the Financial Times reported in its Wednesday edition....MORE
Here's the FT story:

Qatar eyes Treasury’s Citi stock

The Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund, has expressed interest in buying part of the US Treasury’s stake in Citigroup, potentially boosting efforts to sell the shares amid the global rout in banking stocks, people familiar with the matter said.

The QIA’s interest in Citi, which was bailed out by the government after losing $50bn in the financial crisis, comes as other cash-rich state funds are shying away from banks – often because of big losses on such investments in the past.

The QIA, which has done well on investments in Credit Suisse and Barclays during the crisis, is open to buying some of the Treasury’s 27 per cent stake in Citi, the people familiar with the matter said.

They warned that any deal would depend on price, market conditions and the government’s willingness to sell Citi shares to a sovereign wealth fund at a discount.

The Treasury said in April it would sell the 7.7bn Citi shares it received for bail-outs of the bank. It said 1.5bn shares would be sold in the market by Morgan Stanley, but have not specified how the rest would be off-loaded, raising the prospect they could place a large block at a discount with a big investor.

A person familiar with the matter said the sale of the first tranche should be completed in the coming days.

People involved in the process said the QIA had been approached about buying Citi shares, but would not say by whom, highlighting the political sensitivities in such a deal....MORE