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Lloyds sells booming St James's Place stake for £670m


Lloyds is selling its final stake in the investment company St James’s Place for a gain of £95m.

The bank, which is 32 per cent owned by the taxpayer, has been selling down its stake progressively, but last night said it would offload all its remaining 21 per cent.

Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio viewed the investment as not central to Lloyds, but faced something of a dilemma, as St James’s has just raised a further £1bn of investors’ cash, which should boost returns for shareholders.

However, Mr Horta-Osorio said Lloyds needed to focus on core retail and commercial banking customers and free up cash.

Lloyds also yesterday sold £90m of commercial property loans to private equity group Cerberus. The loans made a £1m profit last year.