BANKING giant Citigroup has reported a 2.5% rise in first-quarter earnings to 4.1 billion US dollars (£2.5 billion), which beat the expectations of Wall Street analysts.

Citi was boosted by improving results from a unit responsible for selling off assets including mortgages that soured in the financial crisis.

Michael Corbat, chief executive, said, "Both our consumer and institutional businesses performed well and we grew both loans and deposits while holding the line on our expenses."

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