UK chancellor George Osborne has postponed the sale of the final shares held by the British government in Lloyds (LLOY).
The UK government had agreed to sell the shares it purchased during the 2008 financial crisis back to the British public. Amid the current economic turmoil, however, the chancellor has delayed the sale, stating that “now is not the right time”, and citing market instability and economic uncertainty as reasons for the delay.
PM David Cameron pledged to complete the sale while running for election, and George Osborne announced that it would go ahead last October, with analysts predicting the sale would go ahead in the spring.
The government bailed out the troubled bank, purchasing a 40% stake for 20bn in October 2008. Since then it has sold off some of its stake, reducing it to the current number of 10%.
At the time of purchase, Lloyds share price was 78p per share. It currently sits at 64p.
Mr. Osborne has recognized that hundreds of thousands of investors are interested in purchasing shares at Lloyds and has vowed to go ahead with the sale when the time is right.