In early pre-market the stock is down 9 cents at $4.77. Average daily volume for Citi is 579,780,000 shares.
The U.S. Treasury Department plans to sell “up to” 1.5 billion shares of Citigroup Inc. in the government’s biggest step yet to exit the 27 percent ownership of the bank it rescued during the financial crisis.
The Treasury will give its agent, Morgan Stanley, “discretionary authority” to sell the amount, and expects to give clearance to sell additional shares thereafter, the department said in an e-mailed statement today. “Treasury will begin selling its common shares in the market in an orderly fashion under a pre-arranged written trading plan.”
The deal is part of a goal announced last month of selling about 7.7 billion shares the government received as part of New York-based Citigroup’s participation in the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. President Barack Obama is aiming to recoup “every single dime” of taxpayer money from the TARP fund after popular opposition to the Wall Street bailout.
“We’re putting TARP out of its misery,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in an interview with CNN television aired yesterday. “This is going to cost us much less in fiscal terms than even the S&L crisis,” he said, referring to the collapse of savings and loan banks in the 1980s and 1990s.
Geithner said the government is withdrawing from the financial industry after forcing lenders to “recapitalize with private money.”
Citigroup has filed a prospectus supplement on the sale with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Treasury said in today’s statement. The department received the shares last year in exchange for $25 billion in preferred stock, at a price of $3.25 per common share. Citigroup closed at $4.86 on the New York Stock Exchange on April 23....MORE
Here's the 424b2 supplement to the Feb. 19 prospectus.