Lloyds Banking Group sold another slice of TSB today, paving the way for Chancellor George Osborne to look at selling more of the taxpayers’ stake in the banking giant ahead of the general election.
Lloyds shares rose 0.6 per cent to 76.66p while TSB shares, which were placed at no discount to last night’s closing price of 280p, fell 0.2 per cent to 279.5p.
The sale of 57.5 million shares overnight, largely to blue-chip institutional shareholders, was handled by UBS. It saw Lloyds stake in TSB cut to 50 per cent. Under European orders for state aid to the bank after its £20 billion bailout, Lloyds must sell all of TSB by the end of next year.
Osborne has ruled out a public offer for any of the taxpayers’ remaining stake ahead of the election but could still opt for a further institutional sale.
So far UKFI, the body that holds the taxpayers’ shares, has sold two tranches of Lloyds shares — £3.2 billion worth in September 2013 at 75p a share and £4.2 billion worth in March at 75.5p a share.
Hopes of a full public sale this autumn were largely scuppered by worries over Scotland’s independence referendum. The taxpayer paid an average 73.6p a share in Lloyds various bailouts.