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Originally published Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 1:02 PM

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Treasury announces Comerica warrant auction

The Treasury Department said Tuesday it will auction warrants of Comerica Inc. this week, the latest move by the government to recoup taxpayer money from banks that got assistance from the $700 billion financial bailout program.

AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON —

The Treasury Department said Tuesday it will auction warrants of Comerica Inc. this week, the latest move by the government to recoup taxpayer money from banks that got assistance from the $700 billion financial bailout program.

The Treasury said it had authorized the sale of 11.5 million warrants of Comerica on Thursday. Treasury set a minimum bid price of $15 per warrant. The results of the warrant auction will be announced on Friday.

Comerica, headquartered in Dallas, received $2.25 billion from the bailout program in November 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.

Warrants are financial instruments that allow the holder to buy stock at a fixed price. The government received the warrants as part of the compensation for providing support to banks during the financial crisis from the bailout fund, known as the Troubled Assets Relief Program.

The Comerica auction follows an auction held last week for PNC Financial Services Group Inc. The sale of 16.9 million PNC warrants raised $320.3 million for the government.

The government has said it will conduct warrant auctions for six banks over the next several weeks. In addition to Comerica and PNC, it will also auction warrants it holds from Wells Fargo & Co., Valley National Bancorp, Sterling Banshares Inc. and First Financial Bancorp.

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