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Citi (C) to Open Innovation Lab in London, Make New Hires

Zacks Equity Research

Per an article by the Financial Times, Citigroup C is planning to open an innovation center in London, the first strategic step by a U.S. banking giant in the area post-Brexit.

Jim Cowles, CEO of operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa regions said that Citigroup would be hiring about 60 technologists for the center.

The new lab would be supporting the bank’s global markets and securities services business, and will be part of a network that already employs more than 250 people in labs from Ireland to Israel, Singapore and Mexico.

He also informed that the new center would be home for Citi Ventures that takes care of the bank’s venture capital investments and innovation partnerships with external companies.

Citigroup’s decision to set up the innovation center in London will bolster the city’s emerging financial technology sector, which was predicted to be negatively impacted by the U.K.’s decision to exit EU.

Cowles told Financial Times, “Citi continues to invest in London, a key hub for both cutting edge technological talent and some of our largest investor clients”.

On U.K.’s exit, Citigroup plans to immediately shift about 250 jobs to its supposedly new EU headquarters in Frankfurt.

Further, in January 2018, Jamie Dimon, CEO at JPMorgan Chase JPM, informed that more than 4,000 jobs would have to be moved out of Britain if it loses access to the EU's single market.

Citigroup remains well poised to benefit from its diverse business model and focus on core operations. Also, its efforts to streamline international businesses and strategic investments will further support growth.

Shares of Citigroup have gained 25% over the past year, outperforming 15.8% growth for the industry it belongs to.

 

The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here

A couple of other stocks worth considering in the same space are The PNC Financial Services Group PNC and Northern Trust Corp. NTRS. Both these stocks carry a Zacks Rank of 2.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for PNC Financial has increased 3.8% for the current year, in the last 30 days. The company’s share price has increased 21.9% in the past year.

Northern Trust has witnessed 1.3% upward earnings estimate revision for 2018, in the last 30 days. Its share price has risen 12.9% in the past year.

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