AIG has already repurchased about $9.7 billion shares this year. (Photo: Thinkstock)

(Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc., the insurer pressured by activist investor Carl Icahn to boost returns, announced a plan to repurchase another $3 billion of shares.

The move lifts to $4.3 billion the amount that the company is authorized to buy back, New York-based AIG said Wednesday in a statement. AIG said it has already repurchased about $9.7 billion this year through Tuesday.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Hancock has been selling assets including stakes in aircraft lessor AerCap Holdings NV and consumer lender Springleaf Holdings Inc. to simplify the company and help fund buybacks. Last week he raised more than $700 million selling shares in China’s PICC Property & Casualty Co.

The additional authorization “will enable AIG to continue returning excess capital to shareholders, while finalizing authorization plans for 2016,” Chairman Douglas Steenland said in the statement. “The timely return of excess capital to shareholders is one of AIG’s strategic priorities.”

Related: AIG CEO names new executive team 

AIG climbed 0.8% to $61.40 in extended trading at 4:45 p.m. in New York. The statement was released after U.S. markets closed.

Icahn said in October that Hancock should split the insurer into three separate companies. The CEO has rejected that strategy saying he will focus on simplifying operations, improving financial performance and returning capital to shareholders.

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