Market turmoil and Syrian strike could hit sale of Lloyds shares

Tim Wallace
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THE SALE of the government’s stake in Lloyds could be delayed by market turmoil caused by tapering at the Federal Reserve or by action in Syria, City A.M. understands.

The combination of market turmoil potentially hitting the share price and the distraction of political attention from the bank could both have an impact.

UK Financial Investments, the agency responsible for the government’s 39 per cent stake in the lender, is weighing up when to recommend a sale to the government, and a key part of that is market conditions. As a result, if markets deteriorate in the coming months, the sale could be delayed.

“The government has consistently said we have no set timetable or target share price for beginning the return of Lloyds to the private sector, and ensuring value for money for the taxpayer will continue to be the overriding consideration for any sale,” said a spokesperson for the Treasury.

However, the bank’s shares were up 2.95 per cent yesterday to 74.77p, above the 61p the UK would need to recoup its investment.