Belfast Telegraph

US Treasury to make £5bn from Citi sale

The US Government yesterday said it would begin offloading its 27% stake in bailed-out banking giant Citigroup.

America's Treasury Department said it would sell the shares over the course of 2010 in a move it estimates could result in a taxpayer profit of around $7.5bn (£5bn).

The Government took 7.7 billion shares in Citigroup in exchange for $25b (£16.7bn) of rescue cash during the 2008 credit crisis.

Citi shares have been steadily rising in recent months as markets have recovered, which means the Treasury Department stands to pocket a hefty profit.

The US Government has been trying to dispose of investments in banks at the height of the financial crisis, under its $700bn (£467.6bn) Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Citi received one of the largest bailouts, having been hit hard by the global recession.

It received a total of $45bn (£30.1bn) in bailout money, but already repaid $20bn (£12.4bn) in December.

Citi is the third-largest bank in the US by assets, behind Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase & Co. It opened a technology centre of excellence in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter in 2005 where it employs around 800 people providing support services to Citi across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Belfast Telegraph