By Orla McCaffrey 

Citigroup Inc. on Thursday reported sharply higher first-quarter profit and said it is shutting down most of its consumer-banking operations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

The bank posted a profit of $7.9 billion, or $3.62 per share, well above the $2.60 per share forecast by analysts polled by FactSet. A year earlier, Citigroup had reported a quarterly profit of about $2.5 billion, or $1.05 a share.

Citigroup also said it would exit its consumer operations in 13 countries, mostly across Asia, to focus on wealth management and other businesses.

Jane Fraser, who took over as chief executive officer last month, said in a statement that those consumer banks were excellent businesses, but "we don't have the scale we need to compete." She said Citigroup would continue to invest in wealth management and in the businesses that work with corporate clients in Asia.

Write to Orla McCaffrey at orla.mccaffrey@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 15, 2021 08:26 ET (12:26 GMT)

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