2009-03-01 — financialweek.com
Abu Dhabi is assessing its $7.5 billion investment in Citigroup as the bank's problems deepen and consequences of a possible nationalization become clearer, according to sources close to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
ADIA invested $7.5 billon last year in Citi through convertible bonds that pay 11 percent in interest, but it must start converting the bonds into 235.6 million shares in Citigroup from March next year.
In the original deal with ADIA, the Citi securities must be converted into common stock at a price between $31.83 and $37.24 a share between March 2010 and September 2011. Citi last traded at $1.50 a share.
Options for the investment include holding them through to the conversion, which may allow enough time for the share price to recover, or converting them early, in a move that may head off the possibility of the U.S. government nationalizing it.
On Friday, the U.S. government announced it would convert up to $25 billion of its $45 billion worth of preferred stock into common equity at $3.25 per share.
Other preferred shareholders, including the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed, will convert up to $27.5 billion of their holdings at the same price.
Our profound analysis on this one is: "Ha ha, sucks to be you guys!" "Long haul indeed" -- it takes a long time to recover from 95% principal loss.
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