LONDON May 1 Analysts expect Lloyds Banking
Group to report a rise in first-quarter pretax profit
on Thursday, continuing its recovery following a rescue by the
UK government during the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
Sanford Bernstein analyst Chirantan Barua expects the bank,
which is 25 percent-owned by the government, to post a pretax
profit of 1.96 billion pounds ($3.31 billion) in the first
quarter, up from 1.05 billion in the same period a year earlier.
Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio has turned the bank's
financial performance around, simplifying the business and
slimming it down to focus on domestic lending and meet tougher
regulatory requirements on capital. In 2013, it reported its
first pretax profit for three years as lending to British
households and businesses increased.
The government pumped 20 billion pounds into Lloyds during
the financial crisis leaving it with a 41 percent shareholding.
It has so far sold shares worth 7.4 billion pounds, reducing its
stake to 25 percent, and wants to sell off the remainder before
the next election in 2015.
Lloyds said in February it expected to apply to Britain's
financial regulator in the second half of the year to restart
dividends, potentially increasing the bank's appeal ahead of a
possible government share sale to private retail investors.
The bank may on Thursday update investors on the planned
stock market flotation of its TSB business, which is expected in
the next two months.
It is not expected to set aside more funds to compensate
customers mis-sold loan insurance.
($1 = 0.5922 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; editing by Keiron Henderson)