Lloyds Raises £450m Following Further St. James's Place Share Disposal

LONDON -- The shares of Lloyds Banking  (LSE: LLOY  ) (NYSE: LYG  )  dropped 2 pence to 61 pence during early London trade this morning after the bank said it had raised 450 million pounds following the sale of part of its stake in St. James's Place  (LSE: STJ  ) .

Lloyds said it had sold 77 million shares at 580 pence and would retain 110 million shares in the FTSE 250 mid-cap.

The shares of St. James's Place dived 62 pence, or 10%, to 578 pence in response.

Lloyds claimed the disposal would realize a 40 million-pound accounting gain and would improve the group's core tier 1 capital by approximately 500 million pounds. The bank also said the sale followed the recent "strong performance" of St. James's Place's shares.

During March, Lloyds raised 520 million pounds by selling 101 million shares in St. James's Place.

Lloyds acquired its stake in St. James's Place, a financial services group, as part of the ill-fated merger with HBOS during the 2008-9 banking crash.

St. James's Place retains a network of financial advisors that serves 140,000 clients and manages some 39 billion pounds of customer money.

The mid-cap has seen its shares recover with the wider market during the last few years, with the price rallying 85% during the last 12 months alone.

The disposal ought to support the balance sheet of Lloyds, which at the last count boasted net tangible assets of 54.9 pence per share.

Of course, whether this share disposal means Lloyds is now a "buy" and St. James's Place is now a "sell" -- or vice versa -- remains something only you can decide.

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