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Treasury Department to sell stock in Charleston-based bank

Staff Report
Published March 15, 2012

The U.S. Treasury Department is selling the shares of First Financial Holdings Inc. that it acquired during the implementation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Auctions of the stock will take place around March 26.

First Financial Holdings is the holding company of First Federal, the oldest and largest Charleston-based bank. The Treasury Department also is selling shares of five other U.S. banks.

In December 2008, the department invested $65 million in First Financial. The preferred stock pays a 5% annual dividend until 2013, when it will increase to 9%.

To date, the department said it has recovered $259 billion from TARP’s programs compared with its initial investment of $245 billion.