Government stake in Lloyds falls below 16% with further £500m share sale
- Credit: PA
The taxpayers’ stake in Lloyds Banking Group has fallen to below 16% after the Government sold off another tranche of shares.
It means the Government has now recouped around £12billion of the £20.5bn spent bailing out Lloyds at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.
The Treasury has reduced its stake by a full nine percentage points over the last five months as part of a trading plan announced at the end of last year when the Government’s stake in the bank stood at 24.9%.
This figure now stands at 15.9%, following the sale of a 1% stake in the banking group for around £500m.
Chancellor George Osborne described the latest sale as “fantastic news”. He added: “I am determined to build on this success, and to continue to return Lloyds to the private sector and reduce our national debt.”
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Last month, the Government confirmed it would launch a multi-billion pound share sale open to the public within the next 12 months, following a previous pledge by the Chancellor.
Speculation is that the sale will take place next March after the completion in December of the current trading plan to sell down some of the Treasury’s stake to City investors, and following publication of the group’s 2015 annual financial results.
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Lloyds shares are trading at around 86.4p, well above the 73.6p average price that taxpayers originally paid for them.
A spokesman for the bank said: “Today’s announcement shows the further progress made in returning Lloyds Banking Group to full private ownership and enabling the taxpayer to get their money back.
“This reflects the hard work undertaken over the last four years to transform the group into a simple, low-risk and customer-focused bank that is committed to helping Britain prosper.”