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Updated to include Citi's statement.



) -- The U.S. Treasury Department said Wednesday it has received $312 million from its

sale of 465 million warrants to buy


(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

common stock.

The warrants were sold in Dutch auctions on Tuesday by

Deutsche Bank

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. They're considered a speculative play, with strike prices of $10.61 or $17.85, exercisable through 2018.

The Treasury received $1.01 per warrant on the tranche with a higher strike price and 26 cents per warrant on the tranche with a higher strike price. Still, the proceeds were at the high end of a

range of estimates provided by Linus Wilson, an assistant professor of finance at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

"With the pricing of the warrants, taxpayers stand to make a cumulative profit of over $12 billion on their investment in Citigroup," Citi said in a statement. "With a full year of profitability behind us, we have built a strong foundation for sustainable and responsible growth."

All told, the government has earned $12.3 billion in gross proceeds on its $45 billion investment in Citi, over a period of two years and three months.

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"Our investment in Citigroup has produced a significant profit for taxpayers," Tim Massad, acting assistant secretary for financial stability, said in a statement. "As we exit our investments in private companies and recover taxpayer dollars, it's clear that the cost of the

Troubled Asset Relief Program program will be a fraction of what many had once feared during the depths of the crisis."

The Treasury said it ultimately disbursed $410 billion of its $700 billion in TARP funds and expects to receive repayments and proceeds of $271 billion. The expected losses pertain mostly to homeowner assistance programs, investments in automakers and a few relatively small investments in banks.

In recent trading, Citi shares were up a penny at $4.83.

-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York


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