Thur close: RBS enjoys lift from government sale
Royal Bank of Scotland enjoyed a rare day among the top performing shares after the government announced plans to sell down its stake. It helped edge the FTSE100 0.24% higher at 6,846.89.
Chancellor George Osborne announced the government will begin the process of returning RBS to private ownership, even though it may cause a loss for taxpayers. However, investors saw it as an indication that the bank is beginning to put its problems behind it, allowing it to focus once again on growth and on a return of the dividend. RBS closed at 361.50p +1.89%.
J Sainsbury was a high riser after Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded the stock to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’, saying it believes the industry is near the bottom of its current deflation and margin cycle. Tesco and Morrisons also performed well.
Royal Mail was a faller after the government offloaded half of its stake or 15% of the company’s entire stock for £750m. It recovered later after PostNL announced the suspension of Whistl’s UK direct delivery operations. Royal Mail closed at 493.30p -4.49%.