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RBS to get over government priority

Royal Bank of Scotland has agreed to pay 1.5 billion pounds to cancel an arrangement that gives the government priority over dividends, clearing an obstacle to the lender’s eventual privatisation. The agreement between part-nationalized RBS and Britain’s finance ministry to cancel the dividend access share (DAS), which gives the state priority over dividend payments and makes the stock less attractive to private investors, was approved by European regulators. It had been put in place after Britain pumped 45.8 billion pounds into RBS during the 2008/9 financial crisis, leaving the government with an 81 percent shareholding. RBS said the cancellation of DAS would enable it to state more clearly its future dividend policy to existing and potential investors. But it said it had no intention to resume dividends in the short term.

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