Government sells more Lloyds shares

Published: Monday 23rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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The Government has netted another £500 million from the sale of shares in Lloyds Banking Group, it was revealed today.

The transactions mean the UK taxpayer now holds a 23.9% stake in the bank, compared with 40% when it was bailed out during the financial crisis.

The amount of money recovered from the bank is now just under £8 billion after the latest round of share sales was launched in December – a move cutting the Treasury’s stake from about 25%.

All shares sold through the trading plan were made at a level above the average price the previous government paid for them, which was 73.6p.

Lloyds’ shares opened today at about 78p, having been boosted by the prospect that it will announce its first dividend payout in seven years later this week.

A pre-election sale of shares in Lloyds to ordinary members of the public was ruled out last year by Chancellor George Osborne.

The Government has chosen to sell the stock over time ”in an orderly and measured way” rather than through large tranches as has been done previously.

It said in December that it hoped to sell off a stake of up to 5% in Lloyds Banking Group over the following six months in order to raise about £3 billion.

Mr Osborne said today: ” I am delighted to announce today that the trading plan I launched in December has raised a further £500 million for the taxpayer so far.

“This is further progress in returning Lloyds Banking Group to private ownership, reducing our national debt and getting taxpayers’ money back.”

Lloyds is expected to report annual pre-tax profits of around £2 billion on Friday, up from £415 million a year earlier, after putting aside another £600 million to compensate customers mis-sold payment protection insurance.

Published: Monday 23rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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