• Lloyds Bank: Shanghaied in Downing Street?

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    Left, the recently completed Shanghai Tower.

    The Shanghai Tower is in the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone of Pudong, with the Shanghai World Financial Center to the east and the Jin Mao Tower to the north. The tower stands 2,073 feet (Sorry, about 632 meters, Derek) high and is ranked as China’s tallest building and second only to the world at large.

    On the 28th July Nils Pratley, the Guardian’s financial editor, opined that the new Chancellor should hang onto the taxpayer’s approx. 9% shareholding in Lloyds Bank.
    Mr Pratley is of course correct in his opinion. Lloyds does present a good investment especially at the present depressed SP.
    Declaration of interest: The Editor is a Lloyds Bank shareholder.
    Currently the market capitalisation (the aggregate vale of all shares in circulation) is approx. £39 billion which means the taxpayer’s (your’s Dear Reader!) share is currently worth around £3.42 billion.
    GOTO: https://www.theguardian.com/business/nils-pratley-on-finance/2016/jul/28/philip-hammond-lloyds-banking-group-eu-referendum-brexit
    We would however draw the reader’s attention to the title of our article of the 30th July; “Politics: The pariah of purchasing” Not only is politics the pariah of “purchasing” it is also the pariah of “selling” – indeed politics is the pariah of good business decisions generally which is why nationalisation is generally a BAD idea! This is because politicians will get involved in the decision making process and insist that decisions are taken for “non business reasons”. Readers over a certain age will remember “Beer and sandwiches (or fish and chips) at Number 10…”

    Politics may well be poking it’s very expensively jewelled (we have a lady PM after all!) in the corporate affairs of Lloyds Bank.

    As readers are aware Mrs May is said to be reviewing the deal on Hinkley Point. Saint Vincent of the Cable (or to his Liberal Democrat colleagues, One Hundred and Eighty Five point Three Two metres) informed us that Mrs May when Home Secretary had reservations about Chinese involvement in financing Hinkley Point.

    As we mentioned in our aforementioned article of the 30th, Mrs May is in an invidious position. The Chinese deal is a licence to print money. This will prove terribly unpopular with the hard pressed British electricity consumer. Pushing the Chinese out of the deal is going to seriously annoy the Chinese (Communist ???) government!
    It is NOT wise to seriously annoy the Chinese (Communist ???) government!
    If the British taxpayer is to replace the Chinese in the Hinkley Point deal, the Chinese are going to have to be offered some lucrative compensation!

    Attention then focuses on Lloyds Bank.

    This organ would not in the least bit surprised if Chancellor of the Exchequer Hammond stands up at the dispatch box in the Commons and announces that the taxpayer’s 9% stake is to be sold to a collection of Chinese investors who have decided – entirely independently of course! – to walk away from Hinkley Point!

    Expect the price to be below 50 pence per share!

    This of course will be the one thing that will be able – albeit temporally – the Labour benches, for these unfortunates will be foaming at the mouth and howling like mad dogs at the news! They will of course be joined by the SNP and Plaid Cymru!

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