Lloyds share price: Bank offloads London headquarters in lease-back deal

Equities

Bailed-out lender sells 25 Gresham Street building to Chinese firm

Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) has sold its London headquarters to a Chinese property investment company, Reuters has reported. The deal is for an undisclosed amount and comes after the lender was returned to full private ownership earlier this year.

Lloyds’ share price has been little changed in today’s session, having given up 0.17 percent to 64.70p as of 13:37 GMT, marginally underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.11 percent lower at 7,340.19 points. The group’s shares have added nearly five percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 6.6-percent rise in the Footsie.

25 Gresham Street building sale

Reuters reported today that Lloyds had sold the 25 Gresham Street building to Hengli Investments Holding, for an undisclosed amount. Under the terms of the deal, the bailed-out lender will lease back the premises which it has occupied since construction, for the next 20 years. The building sits in the heart of the City of London’s financial district. A spokeswoman for the FTSE 10 group told the newswire that there will be no disruption to Lloyds’ operations or staff in the building as a result of the sale.

“The transaction enables the group to capitalise on the market conditions and realise value in its property portfolio for shareholders,” she added.

Ratings update

Citigroup reiterated its ‘sell’ rating on Lloyds yesterday, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the FTSE 100 lender currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 71.75p.

Earlier this week, Goldman Sachs also reaffirmed the bailed-out lender as a ‘sell,’ arguing that capital requirements might impact Lloyds’ dividend growth. 

As of 13:53 GMT, Thursday, 07 December, Lloyds Banking Group share price is 64.45p.