UK markets closed
  • FTSE 100

    7,500.89
    +34.98 (+0.47%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    20,338.96
    +93.56 (+0.46%)
     
  • AIM

    933.20
    +4.84 (+0.52%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1820
    +0.0002 (+0.02%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2139
    -0.0064 (-0.52%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    20,005.86
    -274.56 (-1.35%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    574.64
    +3.36 (+0.59%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,280.15
    +72.88 (+1.73%)
     
  • DOW

    33,761.05
    +424.35 (+1.27%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    91.88
    -2.46 (-2.61%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,818.90
    +11.70 (+0.65%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    28,546.98
    +727.68 (+2.62%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    20,175.62
    +93.19 (+0.46%)
     
  • DAX

    13,795.85
    +101.35 (+0.74%)
     
  • CAC 40

    6,553.86
    +9.19 (+0.14%)
     

It would be mad to sell our remaining stake in NatWest

·1-min read
The Government is continuing to sell its stake in NatWest (PA) (PA Wire)
The Government is continuing to sell its stake in NatWest (PA) (PA Wire)

OWNING an asset set to pay out many billions in dividends, a normal investor would count its blessings, count the money, and hold on to that valuable property.

The UK government would seek to sell it, to ensure those billions go anywhere else.

That at least is the situation with NatWest, bailed out back in 2008 when it was known as Royal Bank of Scotland.

It has been a rocky rode back to security under first Ross McEwan and now the excellent Alison Rose.

Today she unveiled dividends worth £2 billion, half of which goes to the Treasury for its 48% stake. Economic conditions allowing, there should be much more of where that came from in the coming years.

The government still plans to offload its stake, a stance that is based on political ideology and owes nothing to common sense.

If it just sat tight it could get back many billions more from the bank than it ever had to pay. Instead it will sell those shares to hungry investors in the City who know free money when they see it.

Tory governments don’t think they should have stakes, certainly not controlling stakes, in large companies as a matter of principle. Labour, because it is cowardly, tends to go along with this.

But in the Covid era the government has had to make all sorts of massive interventions in the economy just to keep us afloat.

What’s one more small compromise – keeping the NatWest stake -- compared to say, the furlough scheme?

Selling that NatWest goldmine would be just plain thick. So we can assume that is exactly what will happen.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting