The UK government has sold a further £500m ($770m) in shares of Lloyds Banking Group. The taxpayer share now stands below 24%
The UK government, via its UKFI unit, has now recovered c.£8bn of its £20.3bn "investment" in Lloyds, reducing its stake from 43% in 2009 to around 24% today. Previously it had sold two tranches of shares – at £0.75 in September 2013 and at £0.755 in March 2014.
Lloyds shares currently trade at £0.78.
The news comes as the bank announces that it will pay its first dividend since the financial crisis.
George Osborne, UK chancellor of the exchequer, said: "This is further progress in returning Lloyds Banking Group to private ownership, reducing our national debt and getting taxpayers’ money back. The trading plan and its success are only made possible by our long-term economic plan, which is delivering a more secure and resilient economy."
The then Labour government paid an average of £0.736 a share in Lloyds in 2008.
The current government claim that £0.736 represents break-even, fails to take into account the cost of borrowing on the money markets in order to fund the initial share purchase.