TheTreasury has sold another 1 per cent of its stake in Lloyds Banking Group, raising questions about whether the government will soon privatise the bank.
The government’s shareholding in Lloyds has now gone below 12 per cent and the sell-offs have raised £15bn so far.
Chancellor George Osborne said: “It is fantastic news that we have sold more shares in Lloyds Bank, taking the total recovered to £15bn.
“I am determined to build on this success, and to continue to return Lloyds to the private sector and reduce our national debt.”
The government launched a trading plan in December 2014 to sell its starting shareholding of 43.4 per cent in Lloyds;. this is expected to end within the next few months.
A discounted retail offer is expected later on this year or in the first half of 2016, returning Lloyds completely to the private sector.
Erin Davis, a senior equity analyst at Morningstar, said: “Lloyds Banking Group’s first-half results brought some bad near-term news, but reinforced our positive long-term view on the bank.
“While we’re pleased with the underlying results, we think that events in the second quarter highlight the near-term risks that Lloyds faces.”