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Citigroup leaders win shareholder support as stock lags

Posted by: Admin | Posted on: April 28th, 2015 | 0 Comments

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc (C.N) shareholders re-elected directors and overwhelmingly sided with the board on proposals at their annual meeting on Tuesday even as their stock traded for less than the company thinks it is worth.

A resolution endorsing the company’s executive pay for this past year won 84 percent support, according to a preliminary tally, the company said. Shareholders turned down proposals that were opposed by the company and that had called for more disclosure of spending for lobbying government officials and more reporting on stock vesting for employees who leave for government posts.

CEO Mike Corbat, in response to a question from stock analyst Mike Mayo, said the company wanted to continue repurchasing its stock while it was trading below tangible book value, but would not be hasty in selling additional assets and drawing down capital.

Corbat said the company had the “right sense of urgency” about the buybacks while meeting capital requirements from regulators.

In March, the Federal Reserve said it would allow the company to buy back $7.8 billion of stock after it stress-tested the company’s capital plan. The decision was a boost to Corbat after the regulator last year rejected the company’s buyback plan.

Citigroup has pegged its tangible book value per share, a measure of its net worth, at $57.66, as of the end of March. The stock traded at $52.72 early Tuesday afternoon.

Corbat said the shares would rise as the company met his goal of producing better profits more consistently. He said his performance on the goal so far “is mixed.”

(Reporting by David Henry in New York; Editing by Ted Botha)

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