Citi investors go through the tax looking glass

Citigroup up 2.5% after topping estimates

Without this one-off charge, Citi said it would have made $3.7bn in net income for the last three months of 2017.

While the law is expected to help Citigroup and other large US banks over time, it is obscuring this quarter for many with large one-time costs.

President Donald Trump's tax reforms have pushed USA banking giant Citi to a vast $18.3bn (£13.3bn) loss in the fourth quarter of a year ago.

Excluding the effects of the tax revamp, the financial giant's net income was up four percent over the same quarter of 2016 at $3.7 billion, or $1.28 per share. This helped its shares to rise by around 1% in morning trading.

Management is now examining financial performance targets set before the tax law changes to see whether they should be lifted, Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said on a separate call with journalists. "It's something we think we can quickly overcome", he said, "and it's not a headwind that causes us to alter any of our existing plans". Analysts expected revenue of $17.22 billion. That was before the tax law was completed. After reporting massive losses, the banks accumulated these assets, which could then be used to pay future income taxes. It forces them to take one-time hits on earnings held overseas and changes the treatment of deferred tax assets, both of which affect Citigroup in particular. At the end of the third quarter, Citigroup had a net of about $45.5 billion in deferred-tax assets that it is working through.

But for Citigroup, the fourth-largest US bank by assets, the loss is just a temporary hiccup.

The latest quarter's results include an estimated one-time, non-cash charge of $22 billion, or $8.43 per share, related to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or the US tax reform.

Mr. Corbat, the CEO since 2012, is focused on returning more capital to shareholders and improving profitability metrics such as return on equity. The bank is also still on track to return $60 billion to shareholders through 2020. Revenues ticked up 1 per cent from a year ago to $17.3 billion as expansion in global consumer banking - especially in Asia and Latin America - offset a decline at the investment bank. That was in line with what Mr. Gerspach predicted last month, when he said year-over-year trading revenue would be down by a high-teens percentage.

Equities-trading revenue fell 23%.

The institutional business was further dented by what the bank described as an "episodic loss" in equity derivatives totalling about $130 million.

The client is troubled South African furniture retailer Steinhoff International, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The tax reform - a flagship policy of the Trump administration - is expected to lower the corporate tax rate for most companies in the long term.

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