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BETTER TIMES AHEAD AT CITI?

Some options traders appear to think so:

C – Citigroup Inc. – Not sure what’s going on at Citigroup today, at least in the options patch. Base salaries might be up 50% for some employees who chose to weather the storm as its share took a battering along the way to ceding some ownership to the government, but one options strategy today could imply better times for the banker within 18 months. Using the January 2011 put options, we spy a 20,000 lot spread in which we observe the 2.5 puts were bought for 74 cents. Against this, we see identical volume at the 7.5 strike, which by the spread definition must have been sold at 4.84. That combination would leave the investor with a credit spread for a premium coming his way of 4.10. Losses accrue beneath a share price of $3.40, which is the point of using the 2.5 strikes to limit losses. If we’re looking at this trade correctly and both sides were opening bargains, then this investor would appear to be predicting better times ahead for Citi on the assumption that it’s getting its house in order. The question mark becomes whether the investor is closing old positions at either strike, where admittedly there is a ton of open interest.

Source: IB Options Desk

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