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UK taxpayers end up with big Lloyds-HBOS stake

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UK taxpayers end up with big Lloyds-HBOS stake

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The British government is to take a more than 43 percent stake in the merged banking group formed by troubled lenders Lloyds TSB and HBOS.

It is having to buy that much after private investors shunned a new issue of shares. The low level of uptake was expected as the price of the group’s shares on the stock market had fallen below the offer price. The government had agreed to underwrite the shares as part of its bailout of the UK banking sector last October.