Treasury Sells More Citi Shares

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Thursday that it sold all of the trust preferred (TruPS) Citigroup (C) shares it held for a net profit to the taxpayer of $2.246 billion. In addition, Treasury also announced it sold 1.5 billion shares of Citigroup common stock, according to a plan announced in July, lowering its stake in the bailed out bank from 18% to 12.4%.

The closing of the preferred shares sale is expected to occur on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010, Treasury said, adding it did not incur any losses on the bailed-out bank's assets it guaranteed in exchange for these preferred shares.

The sale of the common shares were handled by Morgan Stanley (MS). To date, Treasury said it has sold approximately 4.1 billion shares of Citigroup common stock for gross proceeds of approximately $16.4 billion. This means that the proceeds from the latest sale were $5.9 billion, or an average of $3.93 a share, a little less than the previous average sale price of $4.03, but still a significant profit to the Treasury's purchase price of $3.25 a share. Citigroup closed at $3.91 Thursday.

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Treasury invested a total of $45 billion in Citigroup under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The government has so far recovered -- through the sale of the Citigroup preferred and common stock, together with Citigroup repayments ($20 billion at the end of last year), dividends and other distributions -- a total of $41.6 billion.

Treasury says the remaining 3.6 billion shares of Citigroup common stock it holds have a value of $14.0 billion at Thursday 's closing price. Treasury says it expects to continue selling its shares in the market in an orderly fashion, after the blackout period set by Citigroup related to its third quarter earnings release ends.

In addition, taxpayers will ultimately receive proceeds from the sale of the warrants for Citigroup common stock received under TARP, as well as the sale of up to $800 million in TruPS held by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for Treasury's benefit.

On Thursday, the government also reached an agreement with AIG (AIG) on its exit plan as part of its effort to recoup some of the $700 billion it invested in bailing out the financial system.