US Treasury unloaded $1.2B in GM shares in October

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The U.S. Treasury said it raised another $1.2 billion in proceeds in October from the sale of its shares in General Motors as it continues to reduce its stake in the No. 1 U.S. automaker.

The Treasury disclosed in its monthly report to Congress on Tuesday that it had recovered about $37.2 billion of its investment in GM through repayments, stock sales, dividends, interest and other income.

In 2009, the U.S. government extended $49.5 billion in loans to GM in exchange for $2.1 billion in preferred stock and a 60.8 percent equity stake. The Treasury has been winding down that holding, saying last month it had reduced it to about 7 percent.

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The Treasury said last December it intended to completely exit its GM stake by the end of March 2014, although most analysts and investors expect that to occur much sooner.

The Treasury owned 101.3 million GM shares as of Sept. 26, but the $1.2 billion in proceeds suggests it may have sold about one-third of that total in October given that the automaker's stock mostly traded in the range of $35 to $36 a share during the month.

Last month, the Treasury said it had recorded a loss of $9.7 billion on the GM bailout. Treasury officials have said the government will lose $15 billion on the $85 billion auto industry bailout that included Chrysler, but said the intention was to save jobs, not make a profit.

The exit of the Treasury will eliminate the stigma of government ownership that has hovered over the automaker, which prompted some critics to dub the company "Government Motors."

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