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Britain sells more shares in rescued Lloyds Banking Group

Britain's bailed-out Lloyds bank moved closer back into the private sector on Wednesday after the government sold more shares for £4.2 billion, clawing back taxpayers' cash in order to slash state debt. The latest sale reduces the state's holding from 32.7 percent to 24.9 percent. Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has sold an extra 7.8-percent Lloyds stake to institutional investors for the equivalent of $6.9 billion or 5.0 billion euros, it said in a statement.

Disgraced British ex-bank chief admits he "sinned"

A disgraced British bank chief who quit amid drug allegations has admitted that he had "sinned", in his first interview since the scandal broke. Paul Flowers, ex-chairman of the crisis-hit Co-operative Bank who is currently on bail in connection with a "drug supply" probe, told the BBC late on Tuesday that the last few months had been "hellish". "I am in company with every other human being for having my frailties and some fragility exposed," he told the Newsnight television programme.

Disgraced British ex-bank chief admits he 'sinned'

A disgraced British bank chief who quit amid drug allegations has admitted that he had "sinned", in his first interview since the scandal broke. Paul Flowers, ex-chairman of the crisis-hit Co-operative Bank who is currently on bail in connection with a "drug supply" probe, told the BBC late on Tuesday that the last few months had been "hellish". "I am in company with every other human being for having my frailties and some fragility exposed," he told the Newsnight television programme.

Britain sells 7.8% of Lloyds bank for £4.2 bn

Britain has sold an extra 7.8-percent stake in bailed-out Lloyds Banking Group for £4.2 billion ($6.9 billion, 5.0 billion euros), it said Wednesday. The latest sale, pitched at 75.5 pence per share to institutional investors, takes the state's overall holding from 32.7 percent to 24.9 percent, the Treasury said in a statement. Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government had already sold a 6.0-percent tranche in September for £3.2 billion, at 75 pence per share, as it seeks to return LBG to the private sector.

Women struggling to crack glass ceiling in top UK companies: report

By Belinda Goldsmith LONDON (Reuters) - More women are sitting on the boards of Britain's biggest companies but the glass ceiling is yet to crack, with most top jobs still held by men and companies needing to do more for gender balance, a report showed on Wednesday. The latest of three British government reports on gender in boardrooms found women now hold a fifth, or 20.7 percent, of board positions in FTSE 100 companies, up from 17.3 percent in April 2013 and 12.5 percent in 2011, but short of a 2015 target.

Britain to sell off extra chunk of Lloyds bank

Britain revealed plans on Tuesday to sell an extra 7.5-percent stake in Lloyds Banking Group, in the latest move to steer the bailed-out lender back to the private sector. UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the state's bank holdings, said in a statement it will seek to sell some 5.35 billion shares to institutional investors. The latest tranche will see the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government's total Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) holding drop from 32.7 percent to about 25 percent.

UK to sell Lloyds Bank shares worth $6.9 billion

By Matt Scuffham LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will sell a further 7.5 percent stake in Lloyds Banking Group <LLOY.L>, worth about 4.2 billion pounds ($6.9 billion), via a placing to institutional investors, UK Financial Investments (UKFI) said on Tuesday. UKFI, which manages the government's stakes in Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland <RBS.L>, said the sale would trim the government's stake in Lloyds to 25 percent.

UK investment authorities give go ahead for Lloyds share sale

LONDON - Britain's investment authority says it has given the go-ahead for more shares to be sold in Lloyds — a banking group that had to be bailed out during the financial crisis. U.K. Financial Investments, the arm of the British government which manages the country's stakes in Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland, announced Tuesday it was selling 7.5 per cent of Lloyds' ordinary share capital. Following its second stake sale to financial institutions, the government will own only 25 per cent of Lloyds.

UK retailers Dixons and Carphone get extension to merger talks

By James Davey LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Takeover Panel has granted Dixons Retail <DXNS.L> and Carphone Warehouse <CPW.L> an eight-week extension to their negotiations for a possible 4 billion-pound ($6.6 billion) merger. The extension was given on Monday as speculation that rival Phones4u <PHONE.UL> could enter the fray was dampened.

Britain's state borrowing rises in February

British state borrowing worsened in February, official data showed Friday, but the government remains on track to meet the new deficit target unveiled earlier this week. Public sector net borrowing, the government's preferred measure of the deficit, rose to £9.3 billion ($15.3 billion, 11.1 billion euros) in February. That compared with £6.5 billion in the same month of 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement. Market expectations had been for borrowing of about £8.8 billion.
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