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Treasury unloads another slug of Citi stock

By David Ellis, staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- 2.6 billion shares down, another 5.1 billion to go.

The U.S. government moved closer to unloading its massive stake in the banking giant Citigroup after announcing another major sale of company shares Thursday.

In its latest transaction, the Treasury Department said it sold 1.1 billion shares of stock in the New York City-based bank.

So far, the government has done pretty well for itself, fetching an average price of about $4.03 a share. At that level, U.S. taxpayers have earned a profit of nearly $2.03 billion for bailing out the company.

The government officially acquired a controlling interest in Citigroup after the Treasury Department pumped $45 billion into the company through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

To boost Citi's health even further, the government subsequently converted a portion of its preferred shares into common stock last summer when Citi shares were hovering at $3.25. That gave Treasury control over as much as a third of Citi's outstanding shares.

Treasury said Thursday it will continue to sell stock in an orderly fashion after the blackout period surrounding the company's second-quarter results ends. Those results are scheduled to be released July 16.

Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) shares rose more than 1% in early trading Thursday. To top of page

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