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SBI becomes more valuable than Citibank

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NEW DELHI: The US financial crisis has hit the valuation of its banks. Citigroup, one of the largest banks in the world, with assets worth $1.95 

trillion or Rs 9,72,075 crore, now values less than the State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest bank. 

On Monday, at the time this newspaper was going to press, the market capitalisation of Citigroup was Rs 57,328 crore as against Rs 66,449 crore of SBI (based on closing share price on Friday). The Indian stock market was closed on Monday. 

Citigroup is facing one of the worst crisis in its recent history. Its share price on Friday fell by 93% to $1.95 from a 52-week high of $27.35 on April 28, 2008. In 2007, the company’s share price had gone up to around $65. On Monday, it recovered marginally to quote at around $2.1 per share. 

Share prices of other banks like Bank of America fell 94% to $2.53 on Friday, JP Morgan Chase by 65% to $17.70 and Goldman Sachs by 58% to $84.59% from their respective 52-week highs. In 2008, Citigroup suffered a loss of over Rs 80,000 crore. Against this, SBI earned a net profit of Rs 4,700 crore in April-December 2008 — first nine months of the current financial year. 

Despite the fact that Citigroup’s tier-I capital adequacy ratio is at 11.9% of total performing assets, which is one of the best in the world, the bank is facing tough times due to its exposure to doubtful assets. US government is planning to hike stake in the bank to regain confidence of investors and customers. There are speculations that the bank might get nationalized. 

US government had infused $45 billion in Citigroup under the troubled asset relief programme, besides extending $300 billion guarantee for assets. Against this, in the present financial crisis, SBI has emerged even stronger than earlier. Its deposits and assets base increased faster than that of the Indian banking industry. 

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