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Citigroup may keep store credit card unit: report

A Citibank branch is seen in Washington
A Citibank branch is seen in Washington

LONDON (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc is considering keeping its store credit card business after trying to dispose the $41 billion business, the Financial Times reported.

The U.S. bank is considering moving the division out of Citi Holdings, where it keeps less important assets, to a place alongside its core credit card operations, the FT said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The change was prompted by improved credit conditions and uncertainty over the outlook for other consumer businesses such as retail banking and mortgages, the newspaper said.

The FT also said Citi plans to wait until it sells OneMain Financial, its consumer-lending business, and shed or run off other assets in Citi Holdings before deciding on the cards unit.

Citi has had trouble finding buyers for its store card business, which holds portfolios for retailers such as Zale, Home Depot Inc , Macy's Inc and Sears Holdings Corp .

On July 7, Reuters reported that Citi has faced hurdles in selling OneMain, the latest of which involved Moody's Investors Service giving the business a lower preliminary credit rating than what the bank was expecting.

Citi was not available for comment.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh. Editing by Robert MacMillan)

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