New York-based American International Group Inc. is negotiating with U.S. Treasury officials in order to speed its payback of the financial assistance the company received during the financial crisis, according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that the plan involves converting the $49 billion in AIG preferred shares currently held by the Treasury into common shares sometime in early 2011. Treasury would then sell the shares to private investors over several years, potentially turning a profit if the shares rise in value. If the plan comes to fruition, it would be the latest in a series of moves made by AIG President and CEO Robert Benmosche to hasten payback of the estimated $120 billion in government assistance still outstanding.

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