American International Group, Inc. will sell as much as $2 billion worth of shares in its Hong Kong-based AIA Group Ltd. unit to help raise funds for a planned repurchase of as much as $5 billion of its own shares from the U.S. government, the company said Thursday.

The New York-based insurance giant's $2 billion stake in AIA Group is about a quarter of the $7.6 billion stake that the company could have sold, Reuters said. Word of the sale of AIA stock was widely expected.

American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) shares fell 66 cents to $34.15 in premarket trading.