|US books US$49m from GM share sales
The US government has sold another chunk of its stake in General Motors Co.
The Treasury Department says in its February report to Congress that it sold US$489.9 million worth of GM common stock last month, AP reports.
The report yesterday says the government has recovered about US$29.8 billion of its US$49.5 billion bailout of the Detroit automaker. That means taxpayers are still US$19.7 billion in the hole.
The Treasury says the price per share will be revealed later.
GM stock sold in a range of US$26.19 to US$29.36 in February. At the midpoint of the range, US$27.78, the government would have sold roughly 17.6 million shares.
That means it still owns about 277 million shares. Those would have to sell for around US$71 each for the government to break even, more than double the current trading price. GM shares closed Monday up 31 US cents, or 1.1 percent, at US$28.31.
In January, Treasury announced a plan to sell the shares by early 2014 and said that it hired JPMorgan Securities and Citigroup Global Markets to conduct the sale. The banks will get one cent for every share they sell, for a fee of up to US$3 million.
When the government finally sells all of its shares, it will end a sad chapter in GM's history. The company nearly ran out of cash in 2008 and needed government money to survive a trip through bankruptcy reorganization. Since then, GM has posted 12 straight quarters of profits. Last year, the company bought 200 million of its shares from the government for US$5.5 billion.