Citigroup is drawing up a plan to get out from under the government’s thumb, the Wall Street Journal reports. The bank called the Treasury over the weekend to say it was looking for ways to scale back the government’s investment, outlining a plan in which it would raise outside capital to repay bailout funds, and issue new public shares, while the Treasury sells some of its Citi stock.
Though the call didn’t amount to formal negotiations on the matter, the Treasury said it was open to reducing its 34% stake. But some analysts think it would be too soon to sell. “To get out with credibility, they'll have to show at least a few quarters of decent results,” says one analyst. Still, taxpayers would reap a tidy profit. Citi shares are at $4.52, up from the $3.25 the government paid, which translates into a $9.8 billion profit. (Read more Citigroup stories.)