Capital Group Buys £110M+ NatWest Shares Post UK Govt Sale
Capital Group Buys £110M+ Na...
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Capital Group Buys £110M+ NatWest Shares Post UK Govt Sale

12 May 2024
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2 min.
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Capital Group Buys £110M+ NatWest Shares Post UK Govt Sale

New Era for NatWest

In a strategic move following the UK government’s reduction of its stake in NatWest, the Los Angeles-based Capital Group has significantly increased its investment in the bank. This decision comes after the government’s share cut helped dispel fears of ongoing state intervention in the formerly bailed-out banking group.

Investor Profile and Stake Acquisition

Capital Group, a global leader in investment management with assets exceeding £2.5 trillion, has recently expanded its portfolio by acquiring over £110 million worth of NatWest shares. This strategic move came soon after the UK government decreased its ownership below the 30% mark, catapulting Capital Group into the list of top 30 shareholders of the bank.

Government Influence and Market Response

Historically, the government's substantial stake in NatWest, a remnant of the £46 billion bailout during the 2008 financial crisis, had deterred investors like Capital due to potential overreach in bank operations. With the stake reduction, the government no longer holds a controlling interest, which has rejuvenated investor confidence.

Benjamin Toms, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, highlighted the persistent concerns: "Politics and banking in Europe and the UK have long been intertwined, raising fears about the government's influence on banking operations, despite its minority stake."

Stakeholder Landscape and Historical Interventions

Other principal shareholders of NatWest include MFS Investment Management, Norges Bank Investment Management, and The Vanguard Group. The history of governmental influence includes pushing for executive changes and steering bank policies, particularly highlighted by the departure controversies surrounding former CEOs Stephen Hester and Alison Rose.

Strategic Outlook and Future Plans

At the recent AGM, NatWest's chairman, Rick Haythornthwaite, addressed these perceptions, advocating for the benefits of reducing government overhang to foster future growth. Concurrently, the Conservative-led government plans to expedite the privatization of NatWest, aiming for complete divestiture by 2025-26, including a forthcoming offer to retail customers.

Persons3 and Companies5 in the news

British business executive
1 place
International businessman and chairman of Nordea Bank
2 place
Chief executive of NatWest Group
3 place
Capital Group
3 place
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