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Citigroup stake 'may be sold to Qatar Investment Authority'

The stake in Citigroup currently held by the US Treasury may be sold to the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

Insider sources told the Financial Times that the sovereign wealth fund, which has made previous investments in Barclays and Credit Suisse, is open to purchasing some of the 27 per cent stake in Citigroup that is available.

Morgan Stanley is overseeing the sale of 1.5 billion of the 7.7 billion shares owned by the Treasury in the bank, but officials have declined to comment on whether QIA has made a formal approach to them about the sale.

A spokesman for the Treasury said that Morgan Stanley has been given a large degree of responsibility for the divestment of the Citigroup shares.

"We have to outsource the process to Morgan Stanley so the sale isn't tainted," it was explained.

The Treasury initially took control of the stake last year in an attempt to help Citigroup improve its capital base.

By Gary Cooper