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Regions selling $900 million in stock to help repay TARP

Regions Financial Corp. is setting the stage for repaying $3.5 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, money it owes the U.S. Treasury.

The Birmingham-based bank, which holds the leading market share for banks in Mississippi, Tuesday announced a $900 million common stock offering to raise money to buy back the $3.5 million Series A Preferred Stock issued to the Treasury as part of the TARP bailout. That money is to be combined with $875 million from the sale of the Morgan Keegan brokerage, as well as other available funds. The sale of Morgan Keegan is expected to close in early April.

Grayson Hall, Regions’ president & CEO, said the action will further strengthen the bank’s capital position.

“We are proud that these steps will result in the full return of the taxpayers’ $3.5 billion preferred investment as well as the previous payment of $535 in dividends,” he said.

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