U.S. sells remaining stake in Citigroup for $12 billion profit

The stock sale, which was finalized Monday evening, means taxpayers will reap a profit of $12 billion on their $45 billion cash investment in Citigroup, the Treasury said. It also helps the government quell some of the criticism that it went too far in propping up the financial system and allows the bank to shake the market stigma that it has effectively been a ward of the state.

“This is a milestone for the government and for Citigroup,” said James Angel, a finance professor at Georgetown University. “It signals the company has been fully privatized and that their parole is over.”…

“By selling all the remaining Citigroup shares today, we had an opportunity to lock in substantial profits for the taxpayer and avoid future risk,” Tim Massad, Treasury’s acting assistant secretary for financial stability, said in a statement. The sale also advanced the goal of “getting the government out of the business of owning stakes in private companies,” he said.