US delays AIG share sale

THE US government is likely to sell the first $20bn (£12.4bn) of its stake in insurer American International Group (AIG) later this year instead of March, sources told City A.M. yesterday.

The sale was mooted to take place as early as next month after the completion of the recapitalisation process.

Bankers pitched in January to arrange the sale of the $20bn tranche of AIG stock as the government exits its 92 per cent stake in the insurer.

But arranging the sale so quickly has not been possible and it now looks likely to happen in May after AIG’s first-quarter results announcement.

AIG yesterday said its Chartis business had taken an unexpected $4.1bn charge for claims on older policies for asbestos exposure and workers’ compensation. The insurer said an internal review found it needed to set more capital aside to cover claims that date mainly from 2005 or earlier.