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Britain sells 7.8 percent of Lloyds bank for 4.2 billion pounds: gov't

LONDON--Britain has sold an extra 7.8-percent stake in bailed-out Lloyds Banking Group for 4.2 billion pounds (US$6.9 billion), it said Wednesday.

The latest sale, pitched at 75.5 pence per share to institutional investors, takes the state's overall holding from 32.7 percent to 24.9 percent, the Treasury said in a statement.

Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government had already sold a 6.0-percent tranche in September for 3.2 billion pounds, at 75 pence per share, as it seeks to return LBG to the private sector.

Banking giant Lloyds giant was bailed out at the top of the 2008 financial crisis with 20 billion pounds of government money.

Lloyds Banking Group was created by a merger of Lloyds TSB and rival British lender HBOS amid the global financial crisis.

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