CHICAGO -- Citicorp is eyeing a worldwide consolidation of its data costs, said Fredrich A. Roesch, director of investor relations.

In an appearance before the Investment Analysts Society of Chicago, Mr. Roesch said the consolidation of more than 100 technology facilities serving 93 countries, including the United States, is being spurred in part by falling telecommunications costs.

He also cited an expected relaxation of regulatory barriers by some European and Asian countries.

While Mr. Roesch did not specify the extent to which Citicorp would consolidate the units, he said, "From a technical standpoint, we could get the job done with three or four centers."

Trimming Costs

Cost-cutting has been a priority at Citicorp over the past two years, as the nation's largest banking company has coped with real estate lending woes.

It already has slashed the number of data processing shops it runs in the United States alone from around 240 in 1990 to 60.

Focus on Capital, Reserves

Its lead bank, Citibank, trimmed its work force by 4,854 positions, or 7.6%, during 1991 and 1992, according to data from Sheshunoff Information Services, an affiliate of the American Banker.

The company will sustain its heavy focus on building loan-loss reserves and capital for two or three more quarters, Mr. Roesch said.

Interim credit quality concerns are confined to California and Canada, he said, where commercial real estate problems have not yet bottomed.

|Full Recovery'

At March 31, 30% of Citicorp's $3.6 billion California realty portfolio and 40% of its $1.3 billion Canadian realty portfolio were classified as nonperforming.

Characterizing 1993 as a year of "full recovery," Mr. Roesch said the company was aiming for "sustained superior" performance in 1994 and 1995.

Citi last year earned $722 million, after a 1991 loss of $457 million.

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