NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bank of America ( BAC) is close to having raised the $3 billion in additional capital it was required to do as a condition of exiting the government's bailout program, suggesting it may be able to avoid selling additional shares to meet the government requirement. In its third quarter earnings filing, the bank disclosed it had raised $1.9 billion and could raise the balance if needed through equity awards to certain executives. Since that time, it has sold a portion of its stake in BlackRock ( BLK)and the rights to participate in a $9.2 billion rights offering by China Construction Bank . It has not disclosed the total proceeds from those sales, however, and will not be able to do so until the quarter closes, according to spokesman Jerry Dubrowski. The Financial Times reported Bank of America has told the Fed it is close to having raised the $3 billion it needs. "We continue to make progress on our commitment and will provide an update at the appropriate time," Dubrowski says. Regardless of how much Bank of America has raised, the Federal Reserve still needs to sign off on the fact that the commitment has been met. A call to a Fed spokeswoman was not returned. Nancy Bush, analyst with NAB Research, says if Bank of America has met the Fed's requirements, it won't need to raise additional equity. "They will have jumped through the last hoop on TARP and they will be largely out from government strictures at that point," she says. Nonethless, Bush doesn't see the news as a big surprise. And Bank of America shares were trailing peers like Citigroup ( C) and Wells Fargo ( WFC) Monday morning, suggesting the market did not see the Financial Times report as a big positive.
While Bank of America will face tougher capital requirements over time as it works to conform with international guidelines known as Basel 3, Luna Analytics analyst Carole Berger thinks Bank of America will be able to meet those requirements without issuing additional equity. "They won't have to raise capital, but they won't also be repatriating or returning capital to shareholders in any significant amount until at least 2012 or 13," Berger says. -- Written by Dan Freed in New York.