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GM starts to repay government loans

General Motors has repaid $8.1 billion (£5.2bn) back to the US and Canadian governments for the loans it recieved to help it out of bankcruptcy last year.

The repayment helps GM to reduce the level of state ownership in the business. The US currently owns 61% of GM and Canada owns approximately 12%.

The manufacturer still needs to pay $45.3bn to the US and $8.1bn to Canada before the loans are completely paid off. GM is planning to repay the remaining amount by a share placing this year.

GM plans to start repaying this money with a share placing, possibly as early as this year if it can convince investors that the recovery strategy is working.

Ed Whitacre, GM chief executive, told the Wall Street Journal: "Our ability to pay back these loans less than a year after emerging from bankruptcy is a sign that our plan for building a new GM is working.

"Nobody was happy that GM needed government loans - not the governments, not the taxpayers and, quite frankly, not the company.”

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