General Motor speeds into emerging markets as the U.S. government pulls out its investment in the company, signalling the company's growth. (File/UPI/Brian Kersey) | License Photo
(UPI) Detroit-based General Motors shares rose Wednesday to the highest levels in almost three years after the U.S. government announced exiting of GM stock. The automaker also announced a change in overseas headquarters, signaling growth abroad and a movement into Asian markets.
The U.S. Treasury announced Tuesday that it sold $1.2 billion of GM's stock in October. The Treasury spent $51 billion to bail out GM and prevent the company from falling into bankruptcy, and has gotten back $37.2 billion by the end of October. The company's CEO Dan Akerson said the sale of the government's GM shares might be completed by the end of the year.
GM sales rose 15.7 percent in October from the year-ago period, higher than its competitors.
This signaled to investors a strengthening of the company. Shares of GM rose Wednesday 1.8 percent to $38.44.
North America is still GM's largest market. Though it faces stronger returns, the company faces trouble turning profits producing at home and is looking abroad to boost production. In June, the company announced a 70 percent jump in China's output while doubling export capacity there.
China's business accounted for 30 percent of GM's vehicle sales last year. China operations will now be separate from GM international operations, as the automaker announced Wednesday that it's moving its international headquarters to Singapore from Shangai. This comes as part of a reorganization that GM announced in August.
The corporate tax rate in Singapore is far lower, and GM also hopes the proximity to fast growing markets will help expand GM's presence into countries like Australia, India, South Korea and Africa.
[Wall Street Journal]