LONDON Jan 9 Britain has cut its stake in
Lloyds Banking Group to below 6 percent as it attempts
to return the lender to full private ownership this year.
UK Financial Investments Limited (UKFI), which manages the
government's stake in the bailed-out bank, resumed share sales
in October 2016, having halted them almost a year ago because of
Lloyds said in a statement on Monday that the government has
reduced its stake in the bank by a further percentage point to
5.95 percent, meaning it is no longer the lender's largest
Lloyds was rescued with a 20.5 billion pound ($24.99
billion) taxpayer-funded bailout during the 2007-09 financial
crisis, leaving the state holding 43 percent.
Britain's finance ministry has now recovered over 18 billion
pounds, Lloyds said in the statement.
"Today's announcement that the UK Government is no longer
our largest shareholder is a key milestone in the journey of
Lloyds Banking Group back to full private ownership, returning
taxpayers' money at a profit," Antonio Horta-Osorio, Chief
Executive of Lloyds Banking Group said.
($1 = 0.8205 pounds)
(Reporting By Anjuli Davies; Editing by Rachel Armstrong)