Who’s Buying All That GM Stock the Government Is Selling?

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In December 2008, the U.S. Treasury began funding the bailout of General Motors (NYSE:GM) as part of the Automotive Industry Financing Program. The size of the program was enormous: $85 billion, $50 billion of which went to GM, initially in the form of loans which were then converted into common stock.

The government ended up taking a 61 percent majority stake in the company with about 500 million shares. The position was always meant to be temporary, and at the end of 2012, the Treasury announced that it would begin exiting its position and hopefully wipe its hands of the whole ordeal by the beginning of 2014. In its July report to Congress, the Treasury reported that it received net proceeds of about $877 million in July, which follows a sale of about $2 billion in June.

So who is buying all that GM stock that the government is selling? GM is 59 percent institutionally owned, and some major money managers increased their positions in the second quarter of 2013.