BloomBerg.com – The most famous Saudi billionaire in the gulf and Europe, Al Waleed Bin Talal, plans to increase his stakes in citigroup inc. from 4% to 5% after they lost nearly quarter of its value yesterday.
Alwaleed, 53, said those steps will help “make it a long- term winner in the financial-services industry.” He said he “expresses his full and complete support to Citi management, led by CEO Vikram Pandit, and believes they are taking all the necessary steps to position the company to withstand the challenges facing the banking industry and the global economy.”
Citigroup, the biggest U.S. bank before the credit-market crisis struck last year, has raised about $75 billion since December by selling assets and equity stakes. The figure includes a $25 billion injection from the U.S. Treasury last month. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said this week the bank will cut 52,000 jobs over the next year, twice the target announced in October, as loan losses surge and the economy shrinks.
Citigroup was surpassed in market value yesterday by U.S. Bancorp, Minnesota’s largest bank. Shares of the company reached their lowest in 13 years as analysts predicted more losses in 2009. The stock, down 78 percent this year, traded at $6.73 in New York at 7:38 a.m., up from $6.40 at the close yesterday.