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US Treasury sells last Citigroup holding

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WASHINGTON, Feb 5 AFP

February 06 2013, 10:10AM

The US Treasury Department is selling its last holding in Citigroup, one of the banks rescued by the government during the 2008 financial crisis.

The sale of Citigroup subordinated notes is expected to add $US894 million ($A863.7 million) to the Treasury's coffers, bringing the overall positive return to US taxpayers on the investment to more than $US13.4 billion, the Treasury said in a statement.

The US Treasury injected $US45 billion into Citigroup under the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) aimed at preventing the collapse of major financial institutions after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in September 2008.

It said it had fully recovered its TARP investment in Citigroup with a profit in 2010.

The subordinated notes offered for sale on Tuesday were issued in exchange for Citigroup securities previously held by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation "in order to maximise proceeds" on the transaction, the Treasury said.

"Today's transaction is part of our continuing efforts to wind down TARP's bank investment programs, which helped stabilise our economy during a severe financial panic and delivered a profit for taxpayers," said Tim Massad, assistant Treasury secretary for financial stability.

In late December the Treasury exited its bailout of insurance giant American International Group, also rescued in the 2008 meltdown. The Treasury said the government had earned a $US22.7 billion net profit on the AIG bailout.

The Treasury still holds a stake in General Motors, the biggest US automaker, which was rescued by the US and Canadian governments in 2009.