The Government may sell its remaining 33 per cent holding in Lloyds Banking Group within the next 12 months, according to a report in The Telegraph.
The stake, currently worth £18.4bn, could be sold off in 2014 through a combination of retail and institutional offerings.
Three months ago Chancellor George Osborne oversaw the sale of 6 per cent of the Lloyds shares – raising £3.2bn in the process. This was the first time Lloyds’ shares had been sold since receiving a £20bn government bailout in 2008.
Speculation is now increasing that the Chancellor will order another sell-off, most likely after the bank publishes its financial year results in February.
It is believed that the Group will recommence dividend payouts – something it has not done since the taxpayer-bailout. The resumption of such dividend payments is seen as an important step in the privatisation of the bank.
Lloyds’ shares have risen in value by more than 60 per cent in 2013, with the stock price ending last week at 78.84p – valuing the bank at £56.4bn.