Lloyds makes £400m from St James’s sale

LLOYDS yesterday bagged a £400m profit from its sale of a 20 per cent stake in upmarket wealth manager St James’s Place.

The government-owned banking giant unveiled its intention to reduce its stake in the FTSE 250 company to 37 per cent after the markets closed on Monday. Following an accelerated bookbuild the shares were sold at 510p a share yesterday morning.

Lloyds, which has promised not to sell any more of its stake during the next 12 months, took advantage of St James’s Place’s record-high share price to improve its capital position.

The placing pushed shares in the wealth manager down 3.4 per cent yesterday but Barrie Cornes, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, reiterated his buy rating and insisted “on a 12 month view we think that the shares will continue to rally”.