Lloyds increases TSB stake sale

June 20, 2014 - 10:25:39 am

LONDON: Britain's state-rescued lender Lloyds Banking Group said Friday that it has ramped up the amount of TSB shares it is selling due to keen investor demand.

Lloyds will sell 35 percent of TSB, or 175 million shares, in a stock market flotation at 260 pence per share, it said in a statement.

That was at the top end of the range it had set, and valued the TSB division at £1.3 billion ($2.2 billion, 1.6 billion euros).

LBG had announced its intention to float part of TSB last month, in an effort to meet European Union competition rules over its 2008 government bailout.

The group had originally planned to sell 25 percent of TSB, or 125 million shares, with a price range between 220 pence and 260 pence per share.

"The successful initial public offering of TSB is an important further step for Lloyds Banking Group as we act to meet our commitments to the European Commission," said LBG chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio in Friday's statement.

"The significant investor demand for shares in TSB, which reflects investors' confidence in the prospects for the business, has meant that we have been able to set the offer size at 35 percent.

"TSB has a national network of branches, a strong capital base, robust liquidity and significant economic protection against legacy issues."

The part-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group relaunched TSB as a standalone lender last September as it prepares for LBG's full return to the private sector.

The lender plans to complete a full sale of TSB by the end of 2015.

LBG was rescued at the height of the notorious 2008 global financial crisis with £20 billion of state funds, leading the EU to demand that it downsize.

It remains 25 percent-owned by the government after recent reductions to the taxpayer's stake and as the banking group slowly recovers from a massive bailout. (AFP)

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