London/New York: To free itself from
government control, financial services major Citigroup is
trying to convince US authorities to allow the bank to pay
back USD 20 billion of the bailout money, says a media report.
British daily The Financial Times has reported that Citi
is racing against the clock to convince US authorities that it
be allowed to repay USD 20 billion of bailout funds, "with
insiders and regulators arguing that unless the bank acts in
the next 10 days it will have to wait for more than a month".
"The short window for a decision on the repayment of
funds from the troubled asset relief programme raises the
stakes for Citi in its quest to free itself from the shackles
of the government," the daily noted.
The US government owns 34 per cent stake in Citi.
Attributing to insiders, the newspaper said that unless
Citi could launch a share offering by December 14 or 15, it
would probably have to wait until at least late January.
"It was not technically impossible to raise capital
between the end of a quarter and the announcement of results
but added that disclosure rules could make it difficult,
especially for a company as complex and geographically diverse
as Citi," the report quoted lawyers as saying.
The daily pointed out that Citi`s executives have been
lobbying to be allowed to repay bailout funds, arguing that
the bank has cash reserves of more than USD 240 billion and
its financial performance is improving.