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Posts Tagged ‘Citibank’

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Just following the story of the Latin beauty who was allegedly fired from her job due to excessive attractiveness.

Citibank the lady’s ex-employer, is calling Debrahlee a publicity hound, much to her anguish.

Corporate sexism and peer pressure gone absurd. On the other hand, it could be a late function of the last recession.

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“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”

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Financial crisis humor with just a slight touch of irony.

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citibankJust a couple of days after I heard that rumor on the Philippine operation of Citibank, today’s financial newswires are outlining the unfavorable situation of Citigroup.

The Financial Times, Bloomberg, and Reuters articles today are writing that Citi’s top brass are mulling “options” for their business following the dramatic slide of Citi shares in recent days. Serious actions reportedly being considered by management include further job cuts, potential mergers, and fire sale of assets.

The likelihood of a government bailout by the US was one of the items mentioned by the news, as Reuters writes:

Citigroup “will get bailed out, and that’s another unfortunate strain on the U.S. government,” said Saj Karim, an investment adviser at Cannacord Capital in Waterloo, Ontario.

News of Citigroup’s woes is simply the most recent in a series of events which include the bailout request by the US Big 3 automakers (GM, Ford, and Chrysler) and the bailout of large financial institutions such as AIG in the wake of the financial crisis following the burst of the housing and mortgage bubble.

I personally wonder how many more popular names will get dragged into the news as the US economic recession gets underway. Really very interesting times.

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I normally don’t pay much heed to corporate rumor-talk, however several bits of not-so-encouraging information have come my way, which with a very big CAVEAT, I am sharing here in case anyone can confirm their veracity:

First is that the local Philippine entities of banking giants Citibank and Standard Chartered will be or are in the process of rationalizing their branch networks. Citibank is said to be closing down at least six of its Savings Bank branches within the next three months, at the same time, a slightly conflicting report said the Citibank will instead be opening branches in the high-end areas of Rockwell Center and Fort Bonifactio. Rival foreign bank Standard Chartered is said to also be closing its Philippine branches in Quezon City and Caloocan City.

On another note, property giant Ayala Land is said to be offering a generous settlement of as much as thirty-six (36) months pay to those who will avail of early-retirement as a measure to rationalize staffing costs. As much as 20% of the company’s existing staff are said to have signed up for the offer.

The above bits are not confirmed, however what makes me a little worried about these developments, whether real or imagined, is its implications on the Philippine economy. The status of large banks such as Citibank and property developers like Ayala are an indicator of economic health. Only recently, the Philippine government downsized its GDP growth forecast in light of the recession already affecting the US, Europe, and just this morning: Japan. Throughout the financial crisis, the Philippines has seemingly escaped unscathed, but developments in the US have not spared the Philippine Stock Market, and even the financial woes of AIG has forced the sale of its otherwise healthy local Philippine affiliate: Philam Life.

These rumors are an indication that there may be no escaping the global recession that began with the blow-up of US mortgages. Peter Schiff commented on Bloomberg earlier about how Asia will definitely be affected by the US slowdown, but unlike the US and Europe, Asia’s manufacturing and production capacity remains intact–and is strong enough to weather the storm. Whether this assessment is correct, remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, I just hope there’s more fiction than fact behind the grapevine.

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