AIG (AIG) raised HK$138.3 billion ($17.8 billion) from the IPO of its main Asian unit, AIA, putting the troubled insurer on track to repay its U.S. government bailout.

AIG placed 7.03 billion shares at HK$19.68 a share, Bloomberg News said. The shares sold represent a 58% stake in the unit, AIA.

AIG's CEO Robert Benmosche has said that selling the shares will help put the company "well within striking distance" of repaying the U.S. government.

The insurer received tens of billions of dollars from the federal government and the Federal Reserve after racking up huge losses insuring securities such as mortgage-backed bonds.

Today's deal is the largest IPO in Hong Kong's history.

"AIA attracted a diversified group of investors including Asia-focused funds and local investors," Derek Mok, a fund manager at Guotai Junan Asset Asia, told Bloomberg News.

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