Market Report

Taxpayers’ holding in NatWest trimmed further

Royal-Bank-Gogarburn
Gogarburn: head office of RBS and NatWest (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

The taxpayers’ stake in NatWest (RBS) has been trimmed further after a sale of shares through the trading plan which drip-feeds shares into the market.

A stock exchange filing at 11am yesterday showed the holding has fallen to 21.93% from 22.15% a week ago when the bank announced a £1.24 billion share buyback and cancellation exercise.

The stake stood at 38% at the start of the year and has fallen significantly as the government accelerates its exit.

However, plans for a retail offering this month were put on hold when the general election was called. Labour’s shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has said she would not deviate from the plan, raising expectations that the sale will go ahead if Labour wins the general election.

Taxpayers became the major shareholder in what was Royal Bank of Scotland in 2008 when Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling was forced into a £45.5bn bailout to prevent its collapse during the 2007-9 financial crisis. That rescue left the state owning 84.9% of the Edinburgh-based bank.

NatWest shares closed down 6p, or 1.9% at 311p.


M&G

Asset and wealth management firm M&G is cutting its debt by £450 million by backing some of its bonds.

The shares are down almost 10% since it was spun out of Prudential in 2019 amid pressure on its asset management business.

However, analysts are seeing some upside in the company. JP Morgan believes the shares are ready for an upgrade as a result of a turnaround in net inflows in the division.

Its shares closed 4.75p, or 2.4%, higher to close at 203p.



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