RBS takes a hit after lacklustre Citizens float

Citizen shares priced at $21.50- below the expected price range of $23 to $25

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Shares in taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland fell more than 1 per cent in early trading after it was forced to cut the price of its US offshoot Citizens Financial’s flotation on the New York Stock Exchange.

Citizen shares were priced at $21.50 last night  — below the expected price range of $23 to $25. That meant RBS collected $500 million less than it had hoped, at $3 billion (£1.8 billion) for the initial 25 per cent stake it has sold.

Under the terms of the float RBS has the option to sell a further small slug of Citizens shares over the next 30 days — depending on how today’s debut goes. At today’s offer price that would raise a further $440 million. Citizens is valued at $12 billion.

RBS said it would sell off Citizens back in 2013, and sent its then finance director, Bruce Van Saun, back to the US to run the float and the business. It will now own 75 per cent of Citizens but aims to have sold out completely by the end of 2016.

RBS shares fell 4.6p to 353p, reducing the value of the taxpayers’ 80 per cent stake in the bank by £400 million.