Britain sells 7.8pc of Lloyds bank for £4.2bn

March 26, 2014 - 12:45:12 pm

LONDON: Britain has sold an extra 7.8-percent stake in bailed-out Lloyds Banking Group for £4.2 billion or $6.9 billion, 5.0 billion euros, it said Wednesday.

The latest sale, pitched at 75.5 pence per share to institutional investors, takes the state's overall holding from 32.7 percent to 24.9 percent, the Treasury said in a statement.

Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government had already sold a 6.0-percent tranche in September for £3.2 billion, at 75 pence per share, as it seeks to return LBG to the private sector.

"I can confirm this morning that we have sold a further £4.2 billion of shares in Lloyds Banking Group at 75.5 pence a share, taking the taxpayer's stake down to below a quarter of the bank," said Conservative finance minister George Osborne in the statement.

"This represents good value for the taxpayer and the money will again be used to reduce the national debt.

"This is another step in the government's long term economic plan to deliver a more secure and resilient economy." 

"It is another step in repairing the banks, in reducing our national debt and in getting the taxpayer's money back."

UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the state's bank holdings, had already announced late on Tuesday that it would seek to sell about 7.5 percent .

Banking giant Lloyds giant was bailed out at the top of the 2008 financial crisis with £20 billion of government money.

Lloyds Banking Group was created by a merger of Lloyds TSB and rival British lender HBOS amid the global financial crisis.

However, HBOS was saddled with toxic or high-risk property investments, and LBG subsequently received a vast state bailout under the then-Labour government. (AFP)

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