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Britain to fully offload rescued Lloyds bank this year

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Britain's government on Tuesday said it would sell the final tranche of shares in state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group before the end of 2016, after a delay caused by financial turbulence.

[LONDON] Britain's government on Tuesday said it would sell the final tranche of shares in state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group before the end of 2016, after a delay caused by financial turbulence.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin said she was determined to build on LBG's recovery "by making Lloyds shares available to the public this year".

Her remarks were contained in a statement which revealed a dividend payment of £130 million (S$257 million) for the taxpayer.

It added that since the height of the financial crisis eight years ago, the state had recovered more than £16.8 billion, or 80 per cent of the bailout cost of LBG.

Finance minister George Osborne had in January postponed the sale of the Treasury's remaining 9.2 per cent stake in the bank, citing turbulence on financial markets.

Up to that point, the Conservative government of Prime Minister David Cameron had been gradually reducing its 43 per cent stake in the lender, returning billions of pounds to the state coffers in the process.

AFP