UK to start selling remaining Royal Mail shares - CILT(UK)
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UK to start selling remaining Royal Mail shares

Britain will start selling its remaining 30 percent stake in postal operator Royal Mail, which is worth about 1.5 billion pounds, as part of a drive to fix the budget deficit, Chancellor George Osborne said on Thursday. 

Osborne also said government departments had found an extra 3 billion pounds in savings in the current financial year.

Osborne is due to announce a new budget and fiscal targets on July 8 after his Conservative Party won a parliamentary majority in a national election in May. He said in March he was aiming to wipe out Britain's budget deficit by 2018/19. 

Britain sold a 60 percent stake in Royal Mail in 2013, attracting criticism at the time from rival politicians and trade unions who said the firm had been sold off too cheaply after shares rose by as much as 87 percent following the sale.

Osborne appeared to acknowledge those concerns as he made his announcement in parliament. "We will only sell our stake when we can be sure we are getting value for money," he said.
 
The shares were down 3 percent on the news on Thursday. 

No decision has yet been taken on whether the shares would be sold privately to investors or to the public, a Treasury official said.
 
The sale of further Royal Mail shares will begin this year, the finance ministry added.

It also said the extra savings found by government departments included a plan to sell land around London's Kings Cross station which was valued at around 345 million pounds.
 
($1 = 0.6502 pounds)

Source: uk.reuters.com

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