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Citigroup mulls putting Egg up for sale

Banking group looking to offload assets after pressure from US government.

Citigroup is planning to put its British online bank Egg Banking on sale, as part of its strategy to shed $800bn non-core assets within its portfolio.
The sale, which is expected to begin in September, could attract bids from Spain's Santander and Metro Bank. Egg is expected to get a price tag of around £500m.

Citigroup acquired Egg from British insurer Prudential for £575m just before the beginning of banking crisis in 2007.

In a statement, Citigroup said: "Citi's strategy is to reduce the assets and businesses within Citi Holdings, its portfolio of non-core operating businesses and assets, in an economically rational manner while working to generate long-term profitability and growth from Citicorp, its core franchise," reported the news paper.

The US government owns about 18% stake in Citi following a series of bail-outs during the financial crisis and regulators have been putting pressure on Citi to reduce non-core assets to spruce its balance sheet.