Citigroup’s B warrants, part of the second lot of options sold off by the government, trade for 3.6 cents a piece as of Thursday, JUNE 19, 2014, an 86% decline from the 26 cent auction price.
The B warrants allow holders to buy Citigroup stock at $178.50 by Oct. 28, 2018. Citigroup shares haven’t traded that high since 2008. As of close of market on Wednesday, its shares traded at $47.93. If Citigroup’s shares remain at the current low levels, investors may be holding on to worthless warrants.
The warrant sales were part of the U.S. government’s Capital Purchase, Targeted Investment and Asset Guarantee programs, where the Treasury disbursed bailout funds to Citigroup — $45 billion in total — in exchange for preferred shares with a healthy dividend rate as well as a series of stock warrants, which provide the holder with the right to purchase stock at a set price in the future.
The Treasury auctioned off two groups of warrants on Jan. 25, 2011, both of which trade below the original purchase price. The A group was auctioned for $1.01 a piece and now trades at 61 cents, a 40% decline. The options allow holders to buy Citigroup stock for $106.10 by January 2019.