Shares of Citigroup Inc. shed 0.5% in morning trade Wednesday, after UBS did an about-face on the banking giant, flipping to bearish from bullish, amid concerns over how new protectionist policies may affect Citigroup's global franchise. Analyst Saul Martinez gave the stock a rare sell rating, after it was at buy for nearly three years. He cut the stock price target to $58, which is 3.2% below current levels, from $64. Only 15% of companies covered by Citigroup have sell ratings. "Citigroup's global franchise is generally a good thing, but it also leaves the company less levered to lower corporate tax rates and higher interest rates in the U.S., and more exposed to risks associated with the President-elect's protectionist policy stances," Martinez wrote in a note to clients. He said an underperforming Mexican franchise and Asia consumer businesses in slower growth markets also dampen his view. The stock has soared 20% since the election, while the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF has climbed 18% and the S&P 500 has gained 6%.
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