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US taxpayers gain $12bn after Treasury sells off remainder of Citigroup shares

Treasury has now recovered the $45bn spent on the bank's bailout in 2008 and 2009.

The US Government has sold off its remaining shares in Citigroup, brining to a close the taxpayer's period of ownership of the banking giant, which began when the Treasury spent $45bn on the bank's bailout between 2008 and 2009.

The Treasury will take $10.5bn in sale proceeds from the sale of 2.4bn shares in Citigroup, leaving the US taxpayer with a gross gain of $12bn.

"By selling all the remaining Citigroup shares today, we had an opportunity to lock in substantial profits for the taxpayer and avoid future risk," said Tim Massad, Treasury acting assistant secretary for financial stability.

Much of the debt had already been recovered, with the bank paying back $20bn in preferred stock, while $25bn was converted into common shares held by the treasury. The move to sell off the remainder in one large public offering was chosen after last month's successful offloading of the Government's stake in General Motors.