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Budget2024: Natwest retail sale could happen as early as this summer

  • 06/03/2024
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Budget2024: Natwest retail sale could happen as early as this summer
The sale of the government’s remaining shareholding in Natwest could take place as soon as summer this year, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said.

Speaking at the Spring Budget today, Hunt said the government wanted to create an opportunity for the new generation of retail investors, or individual investors, to “engage with public markets”. 

He added: “We’ll proceed with the retail sale for part of the government’s remaining Natwest shares this summer, at the earliest opportunity, subject to supportive market conditions and value for money.” 

This is part of the government’s plan to return Natwest to private ownership by 2025/2026. 

Last May, the state’s stake in Natwest was lowered to 38.6 per cent following the sale of shares worth around £1.26bn. 

Some £46bn was spent by the government to rescue Natwest after it was caught up in the financial crisis of 2009. 

The government said the retail sale would help it reach its goal of exiting the Natwest shareholding, while promoting retail investing and the UK’s capital markets. 

Also announced in the Budget was a British ISA, allowing savers to invest in UK assets. 

This would allow an extra £5,000 annually on top of the existing £20,000 tax-free allowance. 

Hunt said this would promote “investments in UK equity with all the tax advantages of other ISAs” and ensure “British savers can benefit from the growth of the most promising UK businesses” and support firms to expand. 

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