The Unites States Treasury has announced that it will complete its exit from banking giant Citigroup this week, by offloading a final tranche of 2.4 billion common shares that it holds in the company. With the sale the final profit to the U.S. taxpayer is expected to be $12 billion.

As one of the largest recipients of bail-out money from the federal government, Citigroup accepted a total of $45 billion from the Treasury to shore up its beleaguered balance sheet during the worst of the financial crisis in 2008. Of that assistance, it repaid $20 billion and the balance of $25 billion was converted into common shares held by the Treasury.

Assuming the sale of the Treasury?s outstanding stake proceeds at $4.35 per share, as planned, the total proceeds for the taxpayer from the sale Citigroup stock will be close to $57 billion. The Treasury noted that it had already disposed of approximately 5.3 billion shares to date in at-the-market sales, of 7.7 billion shares that it had received in connection with Citigroup?s participation in the Capital Purchase Program.

?By selling all the remaining Citigroup shares today, we had an opportunity to lock in substantial profits for the taxpayer and avoid future risk,? said Tim Massad, Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability.

Mr. Massad added that with the latest transaction, the Treasury would have advanced its goals of recovering funds from the Troubled Assets Relief Program, protecting the taxpayer, and ?getting the government out of the business of owning stakes in private companies.?

With the Treasury accelerating its exit from various investments made during the crisis, November witnessed a successful market offering by bailed-out auto major General Motors, which earned over $20 billion through the sale of its stock.