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Wednesday’s Headlines: Citi investors to see more dividends, buybacks soon

Citigroup investors will receive more capital from their investments, as the bank’s growth will allow it to pay more dividends and buy back shares in coming years, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit tells The Wall Street Journal.

In an interview during a trip to Singapore for a Citigroup board meeting, Pandit
said investors would see the results of his Asian expansion, most of which has been in retail banking. The Journal points out that Pandit has come under attack for not further reducing the bank’s spending.

“By the end of this year we should start seeing operating leverage,” he told the Journal. “Once you start seeing operating leverage, that says you have expenses but they’re paying off.”

Other News:

Barclays’ head of UK, European retail business Deanna Oppenheimer resigns, to be succeeded by Ashok Vaswani, Anthony Jenkins. [Dow Jones]

Merrill Lynch brokerage chief Darnell tells employees he’ll “get out of the way” to help them do better. [Bloomberg]

Bank of England tells banks to cut bonuses and dividends instead of curbing lending. [Financial Times]

Societe General wants to sell stake in Newedge futures and clearing brokerage. [Reuters]

European Commission to announce plan for financial transaction tax despite protests from some members. [New York Times]

Basel regulators may keep 2.5% capital surcharge for top global banks but change how tax is calculated. [BusinessWeek]

Man hedge fund assets plunge 8.5% as clients seek safer investments. [Financial Times]

Northern Trust launches four new ETFs after exiting ETFs in 2009. [Investment News]

Hedge funds appeal insider trader ruling in Washington Mutual bankruptcy case. [Reuters]

American Funds’ Growth Fund of America no longer largest equity fund as investors shun stock-pickers. [Bloomberg]

Axa Group may sell its private equity business, signalling shift in direction. [DealBook]

Denmark regulators hope new measures will help consolidate faltering banking sector. [Wall Street Journal]

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