American International Group (AIG - Get Report), the insurer that received $173 billion in taxpayer money to avoid bankruptcy, will probably be forced to sell its main insurance units as interest payments balloon to half a billion dollars a month and investment losses skyrocket.
AIG, the largest U.S insurance company, owes the Federal Reserve annual interest and fee payments of about $6.4 billion. Fourth-quarter results, which are scheduled to be published next week, will include fees of more than $2 billion payable to the government, according to AIG. The insurer, which had delayed the release of its results, will post a loss of $0.45 a share, analysts estimate. TheStreet.com Ratings forecasts the loss will exceed $10 per share.
The insurance company, which originally intended to divest only non-core businesses, is facing a combination of high interest payments, limited success in selling group companies and investment losses. In the third quarter, five of the 10 worst investment performances by insurers were AIG companies. Investment losses totaled $23.6 billion.
AIG is in discussions with the government to secure additional funds. The company, which has hired a bankruptcy lawyer, according to CNBC, will assemble for a board meeting Sunday. AIG said it's evaluating "potential new alternatives" for addressing its financial challenges.AIG's single disclosed sale amounted to $60.5 million for some oil and gas rights earlier this month. That's less than four days interest and fees on the government funding. Below is a chart of the company's divestment program.