NEW YORK -- Citicorp, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said there is "continued moderation in the pace of deterioration in the North American commercial real estate markets."

But the company cautioned that non-performing commercial real estate assets, credit costs, and loss provisions could stay at high levels because of weak market conditions, particularly in California, Canada, and the office sector.

Foreign Writeoffs Fall

Citicorp's nonperforming assets in California fell to $1.085 billion from $1.161 billion during the first quarter, while in Canada they rose to $519 million from $402 million.

Net writeoffs on commercial real estate outside the U.S. fell in the first quarter to $1 million from $119 million a year earlier, mainly in Britain. Citicorp said continued adverse economic conditions in Europe could hurt real estate values further.

Citicorp said it wrote off about $150 million of its medium- and long-term debt outstanding to Brazil in the first quarter against its reserve for loan losses, reducing the carrying value to 30% of face value as specified by regulators.

Mortgage Data

The SEC filing also indicates a decline in past-due U.S. credit card receivables that was offset by rising consumer delinquencies in Europe.

Total consumer delinquencies were unchanged from the previous quarter at $3.9 billion. As a percentage of total consumer loans, it rose by 0.1 percentage point to 4.8%.

U.S. mortgages that were 90 days past due were unchanged in the first quarter at 4.5% of the total. Citicorp had previously disclosed its net consumer credit costs fell to $716 million in the first quarter from $775 million.

Credit card expenses were unchanged in the first quarter from a year ago, despite the launch of the Ford Motor Co. credit card and other promotional activities in the quarter.

Citicorp said consumer expenses related to developing countries rose 10% "in support of revenue growth."

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