Citigroup stock falls below $1 for first time

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – One dollar could buy a cup of  coffee, a pack of chewing gum, or a roll of bathroom tissue.

For the first time, it could also buy a share of Citigroup  Inc, once the world’s largest bank by market value. The price of a Citigroup share yesterday fell below $1 in  a sign that investors are losing confidence that the lender,  which operates in more than 100 countries, can be restored to  health after $37.5 billion of losses in the 15 months ended  Dec. 31.

Shares fell as low as 97 cents, leaving the bank with a  market value below $6 billion — down from more than $277  billion in late 2006. The decline came even though Citigroup  has gotten $45 billion of taxpayer-funded capital since  October, and despite federal efforts to stimulate the economy  and lending.

Citigroup was not immediately available for comment. “It’s nothing but bad news,” said James Barth, a finance  professor at Auburn University and a senior fellow at the  Milken Institute. “One might have thought the stimulus from  Washington would have had some positive impact, but nothing is  turning around investor confidence.

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