The United States Treasury has reduced its stake in General Motors to 7.3% after selling off another block of the shares it acquired during the bailout of the giant automaker. According to documents released earlier this week cited by Reuters, the Treasury sold at least 110 million shares between May 6 and September 13, raising more than $3.82 billion.
The U.S. government’s stake in GM is now down to 101 million shares, which means that more of GM is currently owned by the provincial Ontario and federal Canadian governments, 110 million shares, than by the U.S. Treasury. The U.S. government’s share in GM was originally almost 61%. Treasury put $49.5 billion into General Motors during the bailout and the agency says that it has recovered $35.4 billion so far.
“We remain on track to complete our exit from GM by early next year at a cost far less than originally projected,” Treasury Assistant Secretary Timothy Massad said in a statement. GM shares closed Tuesday at $36.71, making those 101 million remaining shares worth about $3.7 billion. If current stock prices hold, once divested, Treasury will likely lose about $10 billion on the bailout of GM.
Some analysts have predicted that once that full divestment is completed, GM may again start paying dividends on common shares, which it hasn’t done since the second quarter of 2008. GM executives have declined to comment on possible dividends, saying that the automaker’s current focus is on reinvesting in company operations.