Things are looking up for AIG, the insurance company that not so long ago caused investors to cringe (or curse). The firm has been shaping up its operations for several years and is making out to be a poster child for financial reform.
AIG made headlines several times this week, but the most important news coming to light is that the US Treasury is selling off its remaining shares in the company, ending AIG’s four years of government ownership. Even more significant is the news that the bailout repayment efforts will result in some $23 billion in profits for taxpayers – a record figure in the realm of companies completing successful government bailouts.
Also in the news this week is AIG’s sale of its airplane leasing business, International Lease Finance, to a Chinese investment group for some $5.3 billion, as well as the smaller divestiture of a noncore insurance entity.
The company has been selling off assets since its bailout began during the credit crisis of 2008, when AIG’s risky investment practices caused its finances to take a staggering plunge.
Altogether, the US government contributed some $182.3 billion to stabilize AIG’s operations, and the insurance firm’s stock price still reflects some of the negativity that has since surrounded its public image.
AIG’s operations now consist primarily of property/casualty and life insurances businesses, and, in fact, the firm is still a leader in many of its coverage categories.