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RBS preps for govt stake sale with shareholder vote

  • 22/05/2015
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RBS preps for govt stake sale with shareholder vote
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is preparing shareholders for the government to sell down its 79% stake in the lender by asking them to vote on costs related to a sale at its annual general meeting.

Philip Hampton, the chairman, has written to investors asking them to support the ‘‘related party transaction”, which will mean RBS pays the cost of publishing any documents needed for the share sale.

Hampton wrote that RBS should have held the vote and got the green light from shareholders when the government completed a £45bn bail-out in 2009 but this was “not obtained”. He did not say why.

The letter made clear that any sell-down of the government’s stake is at the “sole discretion of HM Treasury”, according to the Telegraph.

But it said RBS believed the move is in the “best interests of the company and its shareholders as a whole and we unanimously recommend that you vote in favour”.

“Your directors intend to vote in favour of all of the resolutions in respect of their own beneficial holdings,” it added.

RBS’s annual general meeting will be held at its Gogaburn headquarters in Edinburgh on 23 June.

Ross McEwan, the chief executive of RBS, said in March that he believed the government may start selling down its stake within the next three years.

He added: “My job is to make this a really good bank so that it is in good shape for them to sell.

“But it will be a long process to sell it. It’s £45bn of capital – that’s a lot of money to actually take out of a market.”

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