Lloyds Banking Group has become profitable again, reporting £2.1bn profit in the first six months of this year. This compares with the same period in 2012, when it made a £456m loss.
Lloyds is 39% owned by the government, and some analyst are predicting that a sale of the bank back to the private sector could be made by George Osborne as early as Thursday, the BBC reports.
Lloyds shares rose more than any other company’s shares in the FTSE100 in this morning’s early trading, increasing by 5% to 71p.
Chief executive António Horta-Osório said: “It is up to the government now to decide how and when to do [sell its stake…]. The share price is now in a position where the government can return taxpayers’ money at a profit. […]
“We are now well on track to create a bank with a leading cost position, lower risk, a lower cost of equity, and products and services focused on our customers’ needs, to deliver strong, stable and sustainable returns to our shareholders.”
Lloyds has returned to profitability despite having to pay out a £450m fine for misspelling payment protection insurance. Bad debts at the bank fell 43%, to £1.8bn.
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