Citigroup said it may get final approval for its bid to buy Guangdong Development Bank, the South China Morning Post reported, citing sources. The US$3 billion bid, which was led by Citigroup on behalf of a consortium of mainland investors, was recommended to the State Council for approval by the provincial government. However, the bank may be required to include domestic institutions from two rival consortiums – including Baosteel and Sinopec Corp – in the deal, expected to be formally announced next month. The China Banking Regulatory Commission also supported the bid by the Citigroup-led consortium, which recruited former president George Bush to help lobby for it. The state-owned lender reported a 74% drop in profits in 2004 and a 25% increase in non-performing loans.