(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N) reported a quarterly profit that beat analysts' estimates as trading revenue held up better than the company's forecast and loans grew.

The lender said markets revenue declined about 7 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, smaller than the 12 percent drop Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach had projected at a conference two weeks before the end of the quarter.

Client trading surged a year earlier around UK's Brexit vote.

The fourth-biggest U.S. bank by assets said on Friday net income fell 3.2 percent to $3.87 billion in the second quarter ended June 30.

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Earnings per share was $1.28, topping analysts' average estimate of $1.21, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), the biggest U.S. bank by assets, also reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit earlier on Friday, helped by higher interest rates and loan growth that cushioned a decline in trading.

Citigroup's total revenue rose 2 percent to $17.90 billion and beat estimates of $17.37 billion.

Fixed-income trading revenue fell 6 percent, while equity trading revenue dropped 11 percent.

Loans at the end of the period were up about 2 percent from a year earlier, as well from the end of March, indicating a new momentum for lending.

Operating expenses rose 1.3 percent to $10.51 billion. But the ratio of expenses to revenue remained at 59 percent.

Tangible book value per share increased 6 percent to $67.32.

Citigroup's shares were nearly flat in premarket trading. Up to Thursday's close, the stock had gained 12.8 percent this year.

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The shares have climbed toward their tangible book value since mid-April largely in anticipation of the company being allowed by the Federal Reserve to use excess capital to buy back stock.

Citigroup got the go-ahead on June to repurchase up to $15.6 billion of common stock over the next year - nearly twice as much as the year before - as well as double its quarterly dividend to 32 cents per share, bringing total payouts to $18.9 billion for the period.

Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), the third-biggest U.S. bank by assets, also reported on Friday.

(Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bengaluru and David Henry in New York; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)