Updated from 10:20 a.m. EDT

American International Group ( AIG) may get $5 billion from the Federal Reserve to help sell its aircraft leasing unit, according to a published report.

The funds would allow Los Angeles-based International Lease Finance Corp. to address short-term financing needs -- a concern that would otherwise be likely to drive away potential bidders, says the report in The Financial Times, citing "three people with knowledge of the matter." The money would come out of existing federal credit lines already extended to AIG, according to the newspaper.

International Lease Finance is in "advanced discussions," with several groups of buyers, including Carlyle Group Thomas H. Lee Partners and Greenbriar Equity Group, the newspaper says.

The aircraft leasing company is one of AIG's most profitable businesses and a major customer to General Electric ( GE ), Boeing ( BA) and Airbus. It has 955 airplanes, and completed its first leasing deal in 1973.

Nonetheless, short-term funding has been a concern throughout the aircraft industry. Last month, The Wall Street Journal cited comments from International Lease Finance's founder and CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy, made during an aircraft finance conference that Boeing and Airbus would be forced to fund an increasing number of their own planes or sharply cut production by the middle of next year.

Also last month, International Lease Finance said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that "without additional support from AIG or obtaining secured financing from a third-party lender, in the future there could exist doubt concerning our ability to continue as a going concern."

Separately, AIG said on Wednesday that it sold its retail bank and credit card operations in Thailand to Bank of Ayudha for $45 million.

The sale is the third by AIG in the last week. On April 2 it closed the sale of a Canadian life insurance unit for $236 million. It also sold a specialty insurance unit called Hartford Steam Boiler for $739 million, plus the assumption of $76 million in debt.

AIG shares recently were rising 4.8% to $1.10.

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