Here's Why Citigroup's Drop Doesn't Matter

Early in trading, Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) is stumbling after days of big gains. Down by 1.08% at 10:15 a.m. EDT, the bank is following the overall trend of the markets, with investors questioning whether its rise in the past few days was really warranted. Looking at the driving factors behind the bank's gains, we can determine if today's drop means anything going forward.

1. Legalese
Most of the big banks got a boost from rival Bank of America's (NYSE: BAC  ) settlement with insurer MBIA (NYSE: MBI  ) -- Citi included. But the big legal wins came for Citi itself as two rulings handed down will disallow investors from filing suit against the bank because of losses from auction rate securities. The securities in question have lost million since February, and since they were underwritten by Citi, these ruling defend it from arbitration from angry investors -- a big win.

The bank is also in the process of suing Barclays for $141 million for foreign exchange services it provided to a unit of Lehman Brothers shortly after it went bankrupt. Citi argues that it had been seeking an end to its trade settlements services to Lehman's brokerage unit because of losses, but since Barclays was in the process of acquiring Lehman's U.S. brokerage business it insisted that Citi continue. Citi agreed to indemnify it for losses over a three-day period, during which Citi lost $580 million.

2. New faces
Citi's been making changes with an eye toward the long run by hiring new faces and promoting old ones. Aiden Allen is set to be the new lead for "general industrials and financial sponsors" in Sydney. Putting Allen, who hails from UBS and is a private equity guy, in that spot shows that the company is genuine about its efforts to expand its investment banking segment. Closer to home, Citi named Steven Wieting global chief strategist of its private banking segment. The move takes Wieting from his managing director and economist position in the Citi Research unit to operating the bank's unit that is said to service a third of the world's billionaires.

3. Market share
Citi has cut Deutsche Bank's (NYSE: DB  ) lead in currency trading down to 0.28% as it made gains in the emerging markets. Citi currently holds 14.9% of the market for currency trades, with 15.68% in emerging markets. Asia, where Citi is well positioned, accounted for a larger cut of the trading, jumping from 21% to 26%. The currency trading market accounted for $225 trillion in turnover, making it a huge win for Citi to march toward the top spot.

A day's moves
Citi gained 4.94% over the past four days, and though a 1% drop doesn't look or feel great, the bank is still making the right moves. As a Foolish investor, remember that for the long run, it's most important to look at the fundamentals of the bank, how the operations are growing and developing, and whether management is making smart decisions for the company. If you look at those three things for Citi, today's drop won't bother you in the least.

Citigroup's stock looks tantalizingly cheap. Yet the bank's balance sheet is still in need of more repair, and there's a considerable amount of uncertainty after a shocking management shakeup. Should investors be treading carefully, or jumping on an opportunity to buy? To help figure out whether Citigroup deserves a spot on your watchlist, I invite you to read our premium research report on the bank today. We'll fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Citigroup, and what areas that Citigroup investors need to watch going forward. Click here now for instant access to our best expert's take on Citigroup.


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