Many of its rivals are getting ready to throw back the government’s lifeline, but not Citigroup: To the contrary, Citi on Wednesday said it was moving forward with a plan to convert a large chunk of its preferred shares into common equity. The long-awaited move is expected to give the United States government a 34 percent ownership stake in the troubled bank.
Citi’s plan calls for about $58 billion worth of preferred stock and trust preferred securities, or TruUps, held by the government and private investors to become Citi common stock. The conversion will bolster the bank’s tangible common equity, which investors and regulators consider an important measure of capital strength.
Originally, Citi had planned to begin the stock swap in April, converting $52.5 billion of preferred stock into common stock at a price of $3.25 a share. Since then, the government stress tests determined that the bank needed to raise an extra $5.5 billion.