American International Group (AIG.N) shares rose nearly 7 percent to a one-year high on Wednesday on news that it could reap billions of dollars from asset sales in the near future.
At $32.99, the highest level since mid-April 2011, the stock was up nearly 42 percent for the year, nearly four times the gains of the sector index .GSPINSC. The rally came even as broader markets fell on Wednesday.
CNBC reported early Wednesday that AIG could launch the long-awaited initial public offering of its aircraft leasing business ILFC Holdings ILFC.N in the second quarter. While the stake to be sold was not clear, the offering would value ILFC at up to $8 billion, CNBC said.
Both AIG and ILFC declined to comment.
On Wednesday afternoon the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said it was considering possible asset sales from its Maiden Lane III portfolio, which was created during the bailout of AIG to buy collateralized debt obligations from certain counterparties.
AIG has $5 billion of equity in the portfolio, which is accruing interest, and the company is also entitled to one-third of the profits after the Fed's loan that funded Maiden Lane III is repaid.
As of last week, the fair value of the remaining portfolio was $17.46 billion and the outstanding principal and interest to the Fed was about $9 billion.
The sharp rise in AIG's shares will benefit the U.S. Treasury, which still holds 70 percent of AIG's common stock after two share sales in May 2011 and March 2012.
At Wednesday's prices, the government was looking at a $3.81 billion paper profit on those shares.
(Reporting By Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Richard Chang)