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Citigroup: Penny stock firm still spends millions on lobbying

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Shares of Citigroup Inc., once the nation’s most powerful bank, fell below $1 a share Thursday. The stock fell to 98 cents in late morning trading, down 15 cents or 14.2 percent from Wednesday. New York-based Citi has lost more than 85 percent of its value so far this year, and is down more than 95 percent from a year ago as the bank was pummeled by the financial market crisis.

Citigroup’s shares will remain on the New York Stock Exchange. Last week, the NYSE relaxed its listing rules to allow stocks that fall under $1 to still be listed and traded on the exchange. The exchange said the change was warranted given the “current period of unusual market volatility and decline.”

Meanwhile, Citigroup has vowed to continue spending money on one key item: lobbying. During the fourth quarter of 2008 alone, Citigroup doled out $1.28 million to lobby the federal government.

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