You know the economy is in trouble when investors and analysts are relieved that Citigroup lost only $9.83 billion in the last quarter of 2007. The banking giant managed to squeeze a few billion out of Abu Dhabi and Singapore, and will still pay a dividend on its stock, so for now the mood is upbeat.


Analysts generally welcomed the results, as the $18.1bn bad debt write down was less than market expectations of $20bn.

They also welcomed the fact Citigroup announced it would still be paying a dividend, although this was reduced to 32 cents per share from 54 cents.

“If you maintain dividend and reinforce your capital base, and you take a write-down that is slightly less than expected, all in all, it’s decent,” said Edmund Shing, strategist at BNP Paribas.

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