Citigroup profit rises 12 pct on lower expenses, LatAm growth

Oct 12 (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc reported a 12 percent increase in quarterly profit on Friday, as the bank benefited from lower expenses and consumer banking business in Latin America.

Net income for the third-largest U.S. bank by assets rose to $4.62 billion in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $4.13 billion a year earlier.

Earnings per share rose to $1.73 from $1.42, helped by buybacks that reduced shares outstanding by 8 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected earnings per share of $1.69, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

Total revenue was slightly lower at $18.39 billion, compared with $18.42 billion a year earlier.

Operating expenses fell 1 percent to $10.31 billion and the company's widely watched efficiency ratio improved to 56.1 percent from 56.6 percent a year earlier.

The bank's provision for income taxes decreased by $395 million due to the cut in U.S. corporate tax rates at the beginning of 2018. Bond trading revenue at Citi rose 9 percent, in sharp contrast to bigger rival JPMorgan Chase & Co, which reported a 10 percent drop in bond trading revenue. (Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)