£100bn more of assets up for sale at Lloyds

Tim Wallace
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LLOYDS Banking Group is expected to announce the sale of its German insurance unit this week, taking its disposals so far close to the £200bn mark.

The sale means the state-backed lender is roughly two-thirds of the way through its plan to sell off non-core assets, with around £100bn of assets left to sell.

The remainder are largely thought to be overseas business units inherited from its merger with HBOS.

German insurance unit Heidelberger is one such business arm acquired in the ill-fated tie-up.

It is expected to be sold to Hannover Re, one of the biggest reinsurance groups in the world.

The business is likely to be sold for anywhere up to €400m (£341m), according to sources with knowledge of the deal, removing the firm from Lloyds’ books and improving the group’s capital position.

The bank declined to comment on the prospective sale.

The disposal of the insurer comes after Lloyds sold its international private banking units, while it is also in the process of offloading its Australian financing units.

Chief executive Antonio Horta Osorio is trying to focus the bank more closely on UK retail and business lending.

Over the last year the bank’s share price has risen from 24p to 76p, and Horta Osorio has declared the lender ready for the sale of the government’s 39 per cent stake whenever the Treasury wants to sell up.