Monday, March 29, 2010

Treasury to Sell 7.7 Billion Shares of Citi

Remember when all the banks fell apart, and our government gave them a bunch of our money? Well, in the process we bought 7.7 billion shares (a 27% stake) of Citigroup, Inc., that the Treasury is now planning on selling back to the market.

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Citigroup Inc. shares fell 2.4% Monday as investors unloaded the stock following news that the Treasury Department will begin to unwind its sizeable stake in the banking giant this year.

The Treasury said it plans to sell 7.7 billion shares of Citi (C 4.16, -0.02, -0.48%) it owns as a result of the financial bailout over the course of 2010 subject to market conditions.

"Treasury intends to sell its Citigroup common shares into the market through various means in an orderly and measured fashion," it said in a statement.

Treasury said it intends to initiate its disposal of the common shares pursuant to a pre-arranged written trading plan.

The Treasury bought the shares when the stock was at $3.25. Many analysts say we should have begun the sell off in October, when the stock was around $5 per share. Today, it is at $4.17, still a nice $7 billion profit if we sell now.

My only question is: what are they waiting for?

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