In the absence of anything particularly interesting coming out of today’s BofA conference call, we’re looking again at Citi’s Q1 results – and in particular what happened at Citi’s European Institutional Clients Group (ICG) unit.
As if by magic, EMEA ICG appears to have become the engine of profit at Citi’s investment bank. While the US business made a loss of $135m in the last quarter, the EMEA business contributed $2bn in profit, 70% of the total.
Given Citi’s got another 9,000 staff to eliminate before it gets down to its 300,000 headcount target, does this mean its European investment bankers are now safe?
Maybe not. During Citi’s impenetrable conference call Meredith Whitney asked why European ICG did so well. CFO Ned Kelly said it was to do with the fact that writedowns are booked in the US rather than Europe.