G-10 trade keeps Citi earnings stable

Opportunities in the Group of 10 currencies and efficiency gains from electronic trading helped maintain Citigroup’s strong foreign exchange earnings in 2003, reports Risknews' sister publication, FX Week .

"The headline numbers have remained very strong," said Richard Moore, global head of forex at the bank in London. "More of the opportunity in 2003 resided in the G-10 world with the sharp decline in the dollar against the euro and the yen." These currencies are likely to attract similar attention in 2004, particularly as it is an election year in the US, he said.

Citi’s revenues remained stable in 2003, earning $1,782 million in foreign exchange trading for the full year, down slightly from $1,790 million in 2002.

Electronic trading has played a key role in the development of the foreign exchange market, and has enabled the bank to maintain profits through increased efficiency, said Moore. "A growing proportion of business is put through the multi-bank portals and equally through bank-to-bank and bank-to-customer portals. The sales professional or client does not have to spend time on vanilla transactions but can spend more productive time elsewhere."

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