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Government offloads another 1% stake in Lloyds

The Government has sold off a further 1% chunk in taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group, reducing its overall stake to less than 10%.

It means the Government has now raised £16 billion from the sale. All proceeds are used to reduce the national debt.

Chancellor George Osborne took to Twitter to describe dropping below the 10% mark as a "big milestone in returning the bank to the private sector and getting taxpayers' money back".

While this sale will be available to City investors, the Government has announced plans to sell at least £2 billion of shares to the public at a discounted price this spring.

Lloyds Banking Group announced on Wednesday that its quarterly profits had slipped despite attempts to reduce costs.

It said third quarter underlying pre-tax profit fell 8% to £2 billion compared with a year ago.

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