U.S. government sells General Motors shares image

Besides Warren Buffet we reported earlier raising its stakes in GM through its Berkshire Hathaway Inc. investment fund, the American automaker has been a sweet deal to several other investment firms.

Harris Associates LP, State Street Corp. and on third spot the aforementioned Berkshire Hathaway led last quarter’s purchases of General Motors Co. shares as the U.S. government continued selling its stakes and GM rejoined the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Harris, a Chicago-based investment-management firm, bought 51.9 million shares, the most among GM investors and vaulting it to No. 5 stockholder, while State Street, a financial holding company based in Boston, was the second-largest buyer of GM during the quarter, with 17.4 million shares. Only then followed Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway acquiring 15 million shares, BlackRock Inc.’s 13.9 million and Vanguard Group Inc.’s 11.7 million.

GM, the largest U.S. automaker, is introducing 18 new and refreshed vehicles this year in the U.S., transforming its lineup into one of industry’s newest from one of its oldest. The automaker’s new products, along with the U.S. government’s plans to exit its ownership of GM, have given investors increased confidence in the company. The shares have climbed 19% this year, compared with a 16% increase for the S&P 500.

The U.S. Treasury said in December it planned to sell its GM stake within 15 months, while a source familiar with the matter said Canada’s government has begun a search for investment banks to sell its position in the automaker.