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General Motors Company initial public offering gave investors their first chance to buy and sell GM stock in more than 18 months on the New York Stock Exchange. GM was on pace to sell over $18 billion in shares in the largest U.S. initial public offering ever.  Buyers of the GM shares included giant pension and hedge funds as well as GM factory workers and retirees. Among foreign buyers was China's largest car maker, SAIC Motor Corporation, which is GM's biggest partner in the world's largest auto market. SAIC bought about $500 million of shares for a GM stake of close to 1%.

The proceeds will help pay back the U.S. government for the $49.5 billion it spent on its rescue of GM. The company, after eliminating half its eight brands, slashing its debt and trimming its work force in bankruptcy, has been gaining U.S. market share with strong-sellers such as the Chevrolet Equinox and Buick LaCrosse.

The U.S. Treasury will cut its ownership stake in GM to about 27% from 61% through the stock sale. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and President Barack Obama's chief economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, will also scale back their oversight. (WSJ, 11/18/2010)