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U.S. Treasury to Auction Preferred Stock in Seven TARP Banks

June 20 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Treasury Department said it plans to sell preferred stock it holds in seven banks as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The Treasury said in a statement today that it would conduct public auctions of its stock positions in Fidelity Southern Corp. of Atlanta; Firstbank Corp. of Alma, Michigan; First Citizens Banc Corp. of Sandusky, Ohio; MetroCorp Bancshares Inc. of Houston; Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina Inc. of Newton, North Carolina; Pulaski Financial Corp. of St. Louis; and Southern First Bancshares Inc. of Greenville, South Carolina.

The department said it expects to begin the auctions on or about June 25 using a modified Dutch auction method.

Under TARP, originally approved by Congress in 2008 as a $700 billion dollar program to rescue financial institutions, the Treasury put cash into banks in exchange for equity stakes. Many bailout recipients repaid TARP funds, plus interest payments on preferred shares.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Katz in Washington at ikatz2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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