Lloyds shares dropped about 5% this morning following a disposal of 5.56bn shares by the UK government. It looks like the sale was made to institutions presumably to avoid exposing the retail investor to market volatility given the unsettled nature of markets due to the Crimea situation.
The sale raised around £4.2bn and will reduce the government holding in Lloyds to less than 25%. If the sums being speculated on in the market are right the sale will have seen a profit of circa £130m for the government based on its acquisition price.
Does this pave the way for a further sale in 2014?
This is a distinct possibility should the current market volatility abate and a resolution be found to the Ukraine problem. Sanctions against Russia will hurt the EU as well as the Russian economy, and there is a strong incentive on both sides to find a resolution.
There is an outside chance Lloyds could be out of State ownership by the May 2015 election.