The UK government could offload another chunk of shares in Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) as soon as this week, Sky News reports. The move will follow the bailed-out lender’s recent mortgage settlement with the US, which was seen as removing a major hurdle for the Treasury to start trimming its stake in the group.
RBS’ share price has fallen deep into the red in today’s session, having given up 2.38 percent to 282.80p as of 08:32 BST. The stock underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.83 percent in the red at 7,666.33 points. RBS’ shares have added a little over eight percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 1.6-percent rise in the Footsie.
Stake sale on the cards
Sky News reported this morning that another tranche of the state’s share in RBS could be sold off as early as this week. The newswire, however, noted that bankers had cautioned that it would be subject to considerations relating to wider stock market conditions and ministers’ ability to demonstrate that the taxpayer was getting value for money. One city analyst meanwhile suggested to the newswire that a disposal could target proceeds of more than £3 billion, equating to a roughly 10-percent stake in the lender.
‘Awash with speculation’
A fund manager at a major institutional investor further told Sky News that the City had been ‘awash with speculation’ in recent days that an announcement from the Treasury was imminent. RBS is due to hold its annual general meeting tomorrow, and it remains unclear whether a sale would take place prior to that or shortly after it.