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U.S. Treasury begins selling GM shares on open market


08:43, February 26, 2013

CHICAGO, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Treasury has begun selling the remainder of its 19 percent stake in General Motors Corporation,according to a Detroit News report on Monday.

On Jan. 18, the U.S. Treasury filed a written trading plan to sell its remaining 300 million shares of stock in the Detroit- based automaker. It plans to exit completely by March 2014 and said it could immediately begin selling small numbers of shares on the open market.

In a report to Congress, the Treasury said it had net proceeds of 156.4 million U.S. dollars in January for the sale of GM stock during eight trading days. GM's stock price ranged between 27.61 and 29.16 dollars during the period, meaning Treasury sold at least 5.4 million shares.

In order to prevent hedge funds and other investors from taking advantage, reports say the Treasury doesn't make the trading plan public. The plan places limits on how much stock can be sold at any given time and at what prices.

The Treasury has said it intends to sell its shares into the market in an orderly fashion and fully exit its remaining GM investment within the next 12-15 months, subject to market conditions.

The U.S. government needs to get 72 U.S. dollars per share for its remaining shares to break even on its 49.5 billion dollars GM bailout. It initially held a 61 percent stake before selling about half of its shares in GM's November 2010 IPO at 33 dollars a share.

At current prices, the Treasury would lose more than 12 billion dollars on its GM bailout. Last week, the Treasury Department said its estimate of losses on the 85 billion U.S. dollars auto bailout fell by 16 percent, or 4 billion dollars, in large part because of a rebound in GM's stock price.

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