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NatWest Shares Will Be Marketed To The Public By The UK Government

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NatWest Shares Will Be Marketed To The Public By The UK Government

(CTN News) – NatWest shares are reportedly being offered to retail investors by AJ Bell and Hargreaves Lansdown as the UK government considers selling down its holdings.

In his autumn statement last November, Jeremy Hunt announced the government would “explore options” for selling down its remaining stake in the British banking group, currently just below 33%.

In an early step towards selling the shares to retail investors, the government has approached brokers and asked them to sign non-disclosure agreements, reported first. No comment was provided by the Treasury.

Chancellor Osborne announced in November that he would look at options for a retail share offer within 12 months, provided that supportive market conditions were met and value was achieved.

During his speech, Hunt discussed the 1980s mass privatisations of British Gas – when shares were advertised to the public with the slogan “If you see Sid … tell him”. “It’s time to get Sid back into investing.” he told MPs.

UK Government Investments has said earlier this month that a public share sale to the public could occur as early as June, and speculation is growing that Hunt will announce more details in next week’s budget.

The public would have access to shares offered in a retail offering instead of only institutional investors. NatWest’s retail share offer is part of further capital market reforms aimed at keeping the UK a good place to start and list businesses.

Approximately £6.8 billion is the value of the government’s holding in NatWest, which will be included in any retail share sale.

The government acquired an 84% stake in Royal Bank of Scotland during the 2008 financial crisis in order to bail out the bank, but has steadily sold down its stake since then. In Wednesday’s early trading,

NatWest shares climbed 1%.

Pre-tax profits in the year to December 2023 increased by 20% to £6.2bn, the bank’s highest annual profits since the financial crisis, helped by rising interest rates.

As part of the announcement, Paul Thwaite will replace Alison Rose as NatWest’s chief executive, who was forced to step down because of a row over de-banking involving Nigel Farage last July.

Hargreaves Lansdown’s head of primary markets Tim Jacobs said: “NatWest has generated strong interest from clients, and we expect it to grow rapidly in the coming months.”

NatWest shares can already be purchased on the secondary market, so the discount offered in the share sale will be key to the offer’s success.


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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