Two Citigroup affiliates have agreed to pay $179.5 million to resolve federal regulators’ charges of misleading investors in hedge funds that later collapsed. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that the settlement is with Citigroup Alternative Investments which is a subsidiary of the bank and Citigroup Global Markets. It was reported that the company’s would be paying $139.9 million plus $39.6 million in interest and would be returned to investors in two hedge funds managed by the firm. It is imperative to state that the two firms neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing but did agree to refrain from future violations of securities laws. It was also reported that the firms were also censured bringing the possibility of a stiffer sanction if the violations were repeated.
In a report, the SEC said that the firms sold securities in two hedge funds from 2002 to 2007 raising nearly $3 billion from mostly wealthy investors or institutions. The agency said that hedge fund managers falsely told prospective investors that they were low risk and were similar to bonds. The hedge funds collapsed in 2008 during the financial crisis sustaining billions of dollars in losses. Citigroup in statement said that it was pleased to have resolved the matter.
Shares of Citigroup have been in a strong uptrend since the beginning of the year and have been forming higher lows and higher highs which is being seen as a huge positive and is indicative of the strong buying interest. The stock currently is taking support at its 50 day moving average and traders on the street believe a breach below this level could see the stock collapse to levels of $53.70 in the near term. The relative strength index for the stock has given a sell signal which is a cause for concern for traders