#AceFinanceNews – LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said it will launch a sale of shares in Lloyds to private retail investors in the next 12 months and has extended a facility enabling it to sell more shares in the bank to financial institutions.
The sale is expected to be the biggest privatisation since the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government sold 3.9 billion pounds of shares in British Telecom and 5.6 billion pounds worth of British Gas shares.
As well as raising money for Britain’s finance ministry, those sales aimed to encourage ordinary Britons to invest in the stock market, an aspiration shared by the current Conservative government.
Lloyds was bailed out at a cost to taxpayers of 20 billion pounds during the 2007-9 financial crisis, leaving the government holding a 41 percent stake in the bank.
The government has now sold more than half of its stake in the bank, taking its shareholding to below 19 percent.
UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the government’s stakes in bailed-out banks, also said it had extended a ‘trading plan’ that allows Morgan Stanley to sell Lloyds shares beyond its current June 30 deadline until the end of the year.
Ace Worldwide News Group