The Treasury Department has begun auctioning more than $51 million of stock that it acquired through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The auction of its preferred stock and subordinated debt in six banks began Monday and will run through Thursday, it said.

The largest stake up for auction is the $25 million of preferred stock in Intervest Bancshares (IBCA) in New York that Treasury bought in December 2008. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency freed the $1.6 billion-asset Intervest from a regulatory order in March. Last year Treasury appointed a director to Intervest's board after it missed several dividend payments.

The second largest stake being auctioned is $10.8 million of Security State Bank Holding preferred stock. The Fargo, N.D., company issued the stock in May 2009.

The Treasury is also auctioning an $8.6 million stake in First Western Financial in Denver; a $3.7 million stake in Pathway Bancorp in Cairo, Neb.; a $2.7 million stake in Worthington Financial Holdings in Huntsville, Ala.; and a $442,000 stake in Farmers & Merchants Financial in Argonia, Kan.

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