Saudi Alwaleed backs Citigroup reverse stock split

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said on Saturday he supports Citigroup's <C.N> reverse stock split and reinstatement of its cash dividend.

"Citigroup has demonstrated its ability to overcome the recent economic obstacles. I commend Citigroup's performance," Alwaleed, a prominent investor in Citigroup, said in a statement.

The nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, Alwaleed is also chairman of Kingdom Holding <4280.SE>.

Citigroup, the most actively traded stock in the United States, will resume paying a normal dividend after it uses a reverse stock split to shrink the number of shares outstanding, it said in March.

The bank will pay a quarterly dividend of a penny a share, its first payout since 2009.

It said it will reduce the number of common shares outstanding to 2.9 billion from 29 billion through a 1-for-10 stock split.

In March Alwaleed said he expected Citigroup to post a profit in the first quarter.

Citigroup's chairman said in December the bank would not pay dividends in the near term.

(Editing by Nick Macfie)