Mar 29, 2010 10:33 AM by Associated Press

U.S. to sell entire stake in Citigroup

The U.S. Treasury said on Monday it would sell the 7.7 billion Citigroup common shares it owns over the course of 2010 under a prearranged written trading plan.

The Treasury, which acquired a 27 percent stake in Citigroup during bailouts of the banking giant in 2008 and 2009, said it would sell the shares into the market "through various means in an orderly and measured fashion."

At today's prices, the Treasury would earn more than an $8 billion profit on the sale, according to a Washington Post analysis.

Citi was one of the hardest hit banks during the credit crisis and recession. It received a total of $45 billion in bailout money. Citi repaid the other $20 billion it owed the Treasury in December.

"Treasury intends to initiate its disposition of the common shares pursuant to a prearranged written trading plan. The manner, amount and timing of the sales under the plan is dependent upon a number of factors," the Treasury said in a statement.

It did not elaborate on the factors it would consider in the sales, nor did it provide any further details of the trading plan, which is subject to market conditions.

The Treasury said it has engaged Morgan Stanley as its capital markets adviser in connection with its Citigroup position.



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