UK extends trading plan to sell taxpayer stake in NatWest

UK extends trading plan to sell Natwest shares by 1 year
UK extends trading plan to sell Natwest shares by 1 year Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters
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LONDON -The British government is extending a trading plan to help sell down the taxpayer’s stake in NatWest Group by another 12 months, as chills in the global economy continue to weigh on the share prices of Britain’s biggest banks.

In a statement on Wednesday, the government said it will only dispose of its remaining 48.5% shareholding in NatWest “when it represents value for money to do so and market conditions allow.”

Shares in the lender, which was rescued from collapse by a 45 billion pound bailout in the 2007/8 financial crisis, have fallen 2% so far this year.

To date around 703.5 million shares have been sold through the existing trading plan, raising approximately 1.6 billion pounds ($1.96 billion) for the taxpayer, it said.

The trading plan involves selling shares in the market through an appointed broker at market prices over the duration of the plan. The current trading plan, which was launched in August 2021, has been extended until August 11, 2023.

The government said its aim was still to return NatWest to full private ownership by 2025-26, adding it would continue to keep all options and timings under review for future sales, which could include further directed buybacks or accelerated bookbuilds.

($1 = 0.8170 pounds)

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