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Norway wealth fund backs NatWest plan to buy back more govt stock

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Thursday 18 Apr 2024

(Sharecast News) - Norway's sovereign wealth fund said it would vote in favour of a proposal letting UK bank NatWest buy back more of its stock from the British government.
NatWest is asking investors to support a resolution at its annual meeting on April 23 to buy up to 15% of its total stock from the government over a 12-month period, up from a previous ceiling of 5%.

The government, which bailed out the lender at the height of the 2007-9 financial crisis caused by malfeasance in the industry globally, recently reduced its stake in NatWest to below 30%, making it no longer a controlling shareholder. Most taxpayer stakes in UK banks have been sold off at a loss.

Having held 84% of the lender at one stage, the government is gradually offloading its holding in NatWest, including through a planned sale of stock to the public as early as June, and has said it wants to exit completely by 2026.

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which operates the Norwegian fund - itself the world's biggest at $1.6trln - is one of NatWest's biggest investors, with a 3.23% stake.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for


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