Wilshire Bancorp in Los Angeles has exited the Troubled Asset Relief Program by repurchasing the bulk of its shares it issued to the Treasury Department at a slight discount.

The $2.7 billion-asset company said Thursday that it bought back 60,000 of the roughly 62,000 shares through a modified Dutch auction at a price of $943.51 per share, for a total of $56.6 million. The shares were valued $1,000 each when Wilshire sold them to the Treasury in late 2008.

The Treasury announced earlier this month that it intended to sell the preferred shares it acquired from Wilshire and five other community banking companies at the height of the financial crisis. It completed the first-of-its-kind sale this week, recovering about $362 million of the $411 million it invested in the six banks.

Wishire's President and Chief Executive, Jae Whan Yoo, said a news release that the company was grateful to regulators for granting it permission to bid on its own shares in the auction process. The company, which had been hard hit by loan losses in recent years, reported a profit of $5.8 million last quarter, compared to a loss of more than $40 million in the same period in 2010.

"The repurchase of virtually all of the preferred shares issued under the TARP program is a major milestone for Wilshire Bancorp that underscores the significant progress we have made over the past year," Yoo said in a news release.

The company said that the 2,158 shares it did not buy back were purchased by unnamed third parties.

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