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US Treasury sets sale of final Citigroup holding

WASHINGTON, Jan 14, 2011 – The US Treasury Department said Friday it plans to sell its last holding in rescued banking giant Citigroup by the end of March.

The Treasury said it would hold auctions in the first quarter to sell its warrant positions in Citigroup and two other financial institutions, Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. and Wintrust Financial Corporation.

"The warrant sales anticipated during the current quarter, if consummated in full, would represent Treasury\’s disposition of its remaining holdings in these financial institutions," the Treasury said in a statement.

"The proceeds of these sales will provide an additional return to the American taxpayer from Treasury\’s investments in these financial institutions beyond the dividend payments it received on the related preferred stock."

Citigroup, once the world\’s largest bank, received a $45 billion taxpayer-funded bailout to help it weather the 2008 financial crisis.

The government says it has not only recovered its initial investment, but an additional $12 billion in dividends and interest.

"Apart from the warrants, Treasury has fully sold all other securities issued to it by Citigroup Inc.," the department said.

The Treasury said the warrants would be offered in modified public dutch auctions that set a market price by allowing investors to submit bids at certain increments above a minimum price specified for each auction.

Treasury received the warrants, which give the right to buy underlying securities, as part of their rescue packages for the institutions.

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Each of the other financial institutions has fully repurchased the Treasury\’s preferred stock investment, the deparment said.

Deutsche Bank Securities, a unit of Germany\’s Deutsche Bank, will handle the warrant offerings.

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