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Treasury to Sell Remaining GM Stake by End of 2013

Tickers in this article: AIG GM

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. Treasury on Thursday announced a plan to sell its remaining stake in General Motors by the end of 2013, as long as "average daily trading volumes continue at recent levels."

Shares of General Motors were up 3% in morning trading, to $38.78.

As part of the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, the government lent $50.7 billion to GM in 2008 and 2009, with most of the debt securities eventually converted to common or preferred shares.  GM filed for bankruptcy in June 2009 and emerged from bankruptcy the following month.  The "new" General Motors eventually completed an initial public offering in November 2010, raising $20.1 in common equity.

The government has already sold 70.2 million in GM shares, and has "launched a final plan" to shed its remaining 31.1 million shares. 

"Had we not acted to support the automotive industry, the cost to the country would have been substantial -- in terms of lost jobs, lost tax revenue, reduced economic production, and other consequences," said Deputy Assistant Treasury Tim Bowler in a press release. "Our actions have enabled the industry to rebound. All three American automakers are now profitable, and more than 340,000 new auto jobs have been created since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in 2009,"  Bowler said.

According to the Treasury, the government has recouped $38.4 billion of its investment in General Motors.  The entire TARP program has recovered $431.4 billion, exceeding the total investment of $421.6 billion.  The total TARP recovery number includes profits to the Treasury from its sale of shares in American International Group .  That extraordinary bailout, which included assistance from the Federal Reserve and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, totaled $182 billion.  The Treasury's investment in AIG was converted to common shares. The government completed its sale of AIG common shares in December 2012, and claimed "overall $22.7 billion positive return" from the AIG bailout.

Shares of General Motors were up 31% year-to-date, through Wednesday's close at $37.69.

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-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

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