World Economy

Lloyds Share Sale Nets $890m

Lloyds Share Sale Nets $890mLloyds Share Sale Nets $890m

The size of the stake owned by UK taxpayers in Lloyds Banking Group has fallen by a further 1%, according to the government agency in charge of managing the interest.

UK Financial Investments said the public shareholding of HM Treasury in the bailed-out lender has been reduced to 20.95% after the latest sale of 742m shares for 79p, which raised around £586m ($890m).

Lloyds, which required a £20b state bailout in the financial crisis of 2007-09, is gradually being returned to private ownership.

The state’s stake in Lloyds was once as high as 43% but the government started selling shares in the bank in 2013. It has raised more than £8b to date.

In a statement, Lloyds 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.”

Last weekend, David Cameron said the Conservatives would offer up to £4b of Lloyds shares to private investors if he won the general election.

The prime minister added it would “help us recover billions more to pay down the national debt”.

Under the plans, Lloyds shares will be offered at a discount of 5% to the market price at the time, while a loyalty bonus will be offered to those who keep them for at least a year.

The Labor party said the Tories had announced the plans several times before.  Labor paid 73.6p for the shares in 2008.