If the government is selling GM stock, who's buying?

Marketplace Public Radio, November 2, 2010

A sign at General Motors' world headquarters The federal government is offloading a big chunk of its ownership in General Motors to help pay off the massive bailouts. Scott Tong has more.


JEREMY HOBSON: The federal government is offloading a big chunk of its ownership in General Motors. In the next day or so, GM is expected to file final papers for an Initial Public Offering. But if the government is selling shares, who's buying?

From Washington, Marketplace's Scott Tong says a lot of buyers are overseas.

SCOTT TONG: Investment bankers are said to be shopping the IPOto investors in places like Kuwait, Qatar, and Singapore. And there's talk of investment from China. State-owned Shanghai Automotive is a longtime GM partner there.

Here's analyst Bill Russo at Synergistics.

BILL RUSSO: They bring low-cost production capacity. And they bring a fairer understanding and knowledge of what it takes to compete in these emerging markets.

If the Chinese buy a small piece of GM, expect political heat. But Russo's analysis: chill out, GM's already becoming Global Motors.

RUSSO: GM is transitioning from a north American centered company to a more global company with a new center emerging in its largest overall market, which is China.

Its China partnership has turned Buick into a top seller there. And the joint venture's next venture... is India.

In Washington I'm Scott Tong for Marketplace.

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