Colin Barr

Following the money in banking, economics, and Washington

AIG soars on hopes of quick turnaround

December 14, 2010: 2:52 PM ET

AIG surged 9% after the chairman of the government-owned insurer said it could be back in private hands within a "year or two."

AIG (AIG) rose $4 to a 52-week high above $52 after Steve Miller, who is chairman of the bailed-out New York company, told Bloomberg Television both AIG and Treasury are "anxious to complete that job as quickly as possible."

A big rally

Treasury, the Federal Reserve and AIG agreed last week to a restructuring of the government's loans to AIG. Public lending commitments to AIG once ranged as high as $182 billion, but the government has been saying the revamped deal puts taxpayers on course for reaping a profit on the federal bailout of the company.

To that end, Miller said he takes heart in the big stock sales pulled off recently by two other high-profile, bailed-out companies, Citigroup (C) and General Motors (GM).

"Those are good precedents that give increased confidence that we will be able to get the same thing done with Treasury selling their shares into the public market," Miller said.

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About This Author
Colin Barr
Colin Barr
Senior Writer, Fortune

Colin Barr has covered finance for Fortune.com since November 2007. Previously he was a writer and editor for TheStreet.com, winning a 2006 Society of American Business Editors and Writers award for "The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street," and for Dow Jones Newswires. He is a 1991 graduate of Penn State and lives in Port Washington, N.Y., with his wife Meena Bose and their two kids.

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