UK sells £500m of Lloyds shares

UK sells £500m of Lloyds shares

The British Government has sold another £500 million-worth of shares in Lloyds Banking Group, taking its stake in the lender to below 23%.

In addition to the dividend announced by Lloyds last month, the latest transactions mean the Treasury has now recovered about £8.5 billion of the £20 billion injected into the group at the height of the financial crisis.

The shares were sold at a level above the 73.6p average price the previous government paid for them. Lloyds shares opened today at 81.4p.

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 to raise about £3 billion.

The stake is now 22.98%, compared with 40% at the time of the bail-out in 2008. Lloyds is required to issue a notification to the stock market every time the Government’s shareholding in the bank crosses through a one percentage point threshold.

Mr Osborne said: “These sales are part of our plan to return Lloyds to the private sector and get taxpayers’ money back. The proceeds will be used to reduce the national debt.”

Lloyds Banking Group has announced it will pay a dividend to its three million shareholders for the first time since its taxpayer rescue.

The landmark in the lender’s recovery, resulting in payments totalling £535 million, came as it announced a four-fold rise in annual profits to £1.8 billion.

The dividend will provide the Government with at least another £100 million this year.

A Lloyds spokesman said: “Today’s announcement shows 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 low-risk and customer-focused bank that is committed to helping Britain prosper.”

More in this Section

Three months that shook global marketsThree months that shook global markets

Surge in consumption of media amid COVID-19 crisisSurge in consumption of media amid COVID-19 crisis

Cork energy company aiming for 2026 start date for offshore windfarmCork energy company aiming for 2026 start date for offshore windfarm

Kieran McQuinn: EU must learn from 2007 policy mistakesKieran McQuinn: EU must learn from 2007 policy mistakes


Ellie O’Byrne rounds up some of the virtual gigs, films and other eventsArts Noticeboard: Online entertainment options

It’s 25 years since Toy Story first stunned us with its brilliance. Esther McCarthy looks back onJohn Lasseter’s masterpiece and why it’s regarded as a milestone of modern cinemaInfinity and beyond: How Toy Story altered movie history

All the wines recommended this week are available for delivery.Wine with Leslie Williams: Looking for a wine delivery service? Here are a few ...

If I could be reborn for a day I’d be a cat. I love their serenity and independence and how they always manage to find that one shaft of sunlight.This Much I Know: Broadcaster, Mary Kennedy

More From The Irish Examiner