UPDATE 1-Lloyds to sell remaining stake in St James's Place

Mon Dec 9, 2013 12:59pm EST

Related Topics

* Lloyds to sell remaining 21 pct stake in wealth manager

* Lloyds expects to make 95 mln stg from sale

* Sale will improve core tier 1 by 24 basis points

LONDON, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group said it would bolster its capital by selling its remaining 21 percent stake in wealth manager St James's Place, worth about 700 million pounds ($1.15 billion).

The state-backed British lender, 33 percent-owned by the government, is selling non-core assets to strengthen its balance sheet and focus on lending to British households and businesses.

The bank said the placing would increase its common equity Tier 1 capital by about 670 million pounds ($1.1 billion), or 24 basis points under full Basel III capital rules. Its core tier 1 ratio - a gauge of a bank's financial strength - stood at 9.9 percent at the end of the third quarter.

"The sale of the remaining stake in St. James's Place releases further resources and represents another step towards refocusing this business on its core customers," Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said on Monday.

Lloyds is selling 109 million shares to institutions such as insurers and pension funds and said it expected to make about 95 million pounds from the sale.

Lloyds previously sold a 20 percent stake in St James's Place in March and a further 15 percent in May. Last month it sold its fund management arm Scottish Widows to Aberdeen Asset Management for about 660 million pounds.

The share placing was announced after close of trading. Shares in St James's Place closed up 1 percent at 643.5 pence with Lloyds down 0.1 percent to 78.5 pence.

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