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Citi may shut Venezuela’s foreign currency accounts

A Citibank branch is seen in Washington January 19, 2010. Citigroup Inc posted a $7.6 billion quarterly loss on costs related to TARP repayment and still high loan losses, but the bank's shares edged higher as some investors saw glimmers of hope. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS) :rel:d:bm:GF2E61J1AQN01

Citibank has planned to shut Venezuelan government’s foreign currency accounts within a month, according to Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. With no warning, Citibank says that in 30 days it will close the Central Bank and the Bank of Venezuela’s accounts, he said. Due to strict currency controls in place since 2003, the government relies on Citibank for foreign currency transactions. Maduro alleged the move by Citibank, one of Venezuela’s main foreign financial intermediaries, is part of a ‘blockade.’

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