Britain lowers stake in NatWest with $1.59 bln share sale

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – Britain sold 1.26 billion pounds ($1.59 billion) of shares in NatWest, reducing its stake to 38.6%, it said on Monday, the sixth tranche of shares it has sold since the government intervened to rescue the bank in 2008.

“Today’s sale is another major milestone in returning NatWest to full private ownership as promised,” Andrew Griffith, economic secretary to the Treasury said in a statement.

Britain owned 84% of NatWest at the peak of its ownership after it bailed out the bank during the financial crisis of 2008.

The government said as a result of the transaction, the Treasury’s percentage of voting rights in the company will fall from approximately 41.4% to approximately 38.6%.

($1 = 0.7923 pounds)

Reporting by Amy-Jo Crowley, editing by Kate Holton

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