Treasury announces 3rd round of AIG stock sales

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By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department announced Friday that it will sell more of its shares of common stock in insurance giant American International Group to recoup more of the support the government provided AIG in what was the biggest bailout of the 2008 financial crisis.

It will be Treasury's third sale of AIG stock. The sale is expected to raise around $6 billion. AIG said it planned to purchase $2 billion of the amount put up for sale. The new offering follows Treasury sales of $5.8 billion in AIG common stock in May 2011 and $6 billion in March of this year. AIG purchased $3 billion of the March offering.

Treasury and the Federal Reserve stepped in with $182 billion to rescue New York-based AIG from collapse. Treasury still owns about 70 percent of AIG's common stock.

Treasury's announcement came a day after AIG announced that its net income, after paying dividends, climbed to $3.2 billion, or $1.71 a share, in the three months ended March 31. That compares to net income of $1.3 billion, or 31 cents a share, in the same period last year.

The AIG gains in the first quarter came from an improved performance at its Chartis and SunAmerica insurance units. The company's aircraft leasing business also posted higher operating income.

Treasury still has an outstanding investment of $35.7 billion in AIG out of the initial $68 billion it provided to keep the company from collapsing. The Treasury support came from the government's $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Treasury estimates that the Fed and Treasury together have recouped all but about $44 billion of the initial $182 billion bailout amount.

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