Credit Cards

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Treasury to Sell Citigroup Common Stock

Citi credit cardYesterday, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it plans to sell all 7+ billion shares of Citigroup common stock during the rest of 2010. Here's a clip from the press release:

"...The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced its intention to fully dispose of its approximately 7.7 billion shares of Citigroup, Inc. common stock over the course of 2010 subject to market conditions. Treasury received these shares of common stock pursuant to the June 2009 Exchange Agreement between Treasury and Citigroup, which provided for the exchange into common shares of the preferred stock that Treasury purchased in connection with Citigroup's participation in the Capital Purchase Program. Treasury has engaged Morgan Stanley as its capital markets advisor in connection with its Citigroup position.

Treasury intends to sell its Citigroup common shares into the market through various means in an orderly and measured fashion. Treasury intends to initiate its disposition of the common shares pursuant to a pre-arranged written trading plan. The manner, amount and timing of the sales under the plan is dependent upon a number of factors.

This disposition does not affect Treasury's holdings of Citigroup trust preferred securities or warrants for its common stock..."

This is certainly good news for the American taxpayer, as the government will reap a tidy profit as a result of its emergency investment in the bank.

Treasury is going take its sweet time selling these assets, so it'll be some time before we can know how Citi will fare without the government crutch.

Are we ready to start recommending Citi credit cards as a result of this news? Nah. Once the government has divested itself from Citigroup, we'll be engaging in at least another 12 months of watching before we make a decision on Citi cards.

For now, we are still very keen on the Discover More card, or any card issued by American Express.

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