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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Lloyds Back In Profit

Lloyds Banking Group has returned to profit, and has made £2.1bn in the six months to the end of June. This compares very favourably with the loss of £456m for the same period last year.

The BBC reports that the bank stated that it had made substantial progress on strengthening its balance sheet, although "further work remains to be done".

Lloyds is 39% owned by the UK government (ie the taxpayer) and, based on the good results and the fact that bank said it would be talking to regulators in the coming months about resuming paying a dividend on its shares, people are now betting that the publicly held shares will be sold off (ie the bank will be privatised) and that the announcement of the privatisation will be made within the coming days.

The Treasury have just stated that there is no set target price or timetable for privatisation. However, it also stated (as per Reuters):
"..we have said that we are now actively considering options for sales of the taxpayer's shares in Lloyds."
Shares in Lloyds are up around 4% on the day.

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