Lloyds share sale ‘raises £4.2bn’

<p>The government has raised £4.2 billion from a Lloyds share sale.</p>

The government's sale of a 7.8 per cent stake in Lloyds Bank has raised more than £4 billion for the Treasury, it has been announced.

UK Financial Investments, which is the government the body that manages the UK's stakes in Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, stated that 5.6 billion shares in the bank have been sold at 75.5p each.

The sale means that the government's holding in the bank has been cut down to 24.9 per cent, which is a significant reduction from the 39 per cent it stood at in September.

During the recession caused by the global financial crash, the government was forced to invest heavily in Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland to make sure they did not go under.

Further share sale

Lloyds chief executive António Horta-Osório stated that he is pleased the government is now planning to sell a further stake in Lloyds in the coming months, as it means money will be returned to the taxpayer.

He said: "I believe this reflects the hard work undertaken over the last three years to make Lloyds a safe and profitable bank that is focused on helping Britain prosper."

A Treasury spokesman added: "The government set out its objectives for its shareholdings in the banks in the chancellor's annual Mansion House address last June – getting the best value for the taxpayer, maximising support for the economy and restoring private ownership – and, as set out in that address, the government will only conclude a sale if these objectives are met."

However, investors responded negatively to the news the government is intending to scale back its investment in Lloyds in the coming months, with the share price of the bank slipping in the early stages of trading this morning (March 26th).

By 08:24 GMT, stocks in the bank were 3.66 per cent down on the start of the day. But the bank's share price remained around the 75.69 mark, which is still close to the company's 52-week high.

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