UK government makes £73 million by flogging small chunk of Lloyds

AntonioGettyLloyds CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio has a lot to smile about.

The UK government just made around £73 million ($US110 million) by selling another chunk of its stake in Lloyds Banking Group.

The 90 million share sale, which is actually quite small, brings the state-owned percentage down to just under 23%, from 23.9% as of Friday.

It is unsurprising, however, that the UK Treasury is decided to sell off some of its stake as Lloyds shares have risen by 193% since 2012 under Antonio Horta-Osorio’s leadership.

Lloyds received £20.5 billion in state handouts between 2008 and 2009 following the credit crisis. In return, the government held a 43% stake in the lender and it has incrementally chipped away at its holding.

Last week, Lloyds reported 2014 underlying profit increased by 26% to £7.8 billion. Pre-tax profits rocketed by 325% to £1.8 billion.

It cited a reduction in the bank’s riskier assets to £16.9 billion, from £33.3 billion in 2013, for helping the lender. It also pared down its international presence from 30 countries in 2010, to just six.

Lloyds also revealed that it will give shareholders dividends worth 0.75p per share, which totals £535 million. Around £3 million will go to shareholders while £130 million will go to the government.

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