Gov't Extends NatWest Share Sale For Second Time

The UK government currently holds a 41.5% stake in the lender, following a taxpayer bailout in 2008

Alliance News 3 April, 2023 | 10:48AM
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The government will extend the sale of part of the Treasury's shareholding in NatWest Group for the second time, it said Monday.

The sale is part of the trading plan that was announced in July 2021, and first extended in June last year. The plan will now end by August 2025, rather than August 11 this year.

The UK government currently holds a 41.5% stake in the lender, following a taxpayer bailout in 2008. Last month, the government reaffirmed its commitment of disposing of its stake in the bank by 2026. In March last year, the Treasury reduced its stake in NatWest to below 50% as it looked to fully privatise the bank.

The UK government first took a stake in the bank from October 2008 during the financial crisis as it looked to inject funds into the banking system. As a result, the government ended up holding an 81% stake in the lender – called Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC at the time – after a hefty £45.5 billion taxpayer bailout.

The trading plan will continue to be managed by Morgan Stanley, which will have "full discretion to continue to effect a measured and orderly sell down of ordinary shares in the company," the Treasury said.

UK Government Investments said the plan includes the provisions that no more than 15% of total trading volume will be sold during the trading plan's extension, nor below a price determined by the Treasury to be "fair value".

NatWest shares rose 1.4% to 267.30 pence each in London on Monday morning.

By Harvey Dorset, Alliance News reporter

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