City broker slams "underpriced" Royal Mail shares

The government and its advisors seriously underestimated the value of Royal Mail shares, according to Peter Hargreaves, the founder of Hargreaves Lansdown, Britain’s biggest retail stockbroker.

Today shares in the mail delivery service were almost 50% up on their offer price, reaching 490p before settling back to 487p.

Hargreaves said: “The shares were absolutely underpriced and the issue managed badly. The fact that the price is where it is today tells you that the shares were sold too cheaply.”

“There should have been far more consultation with the retail market,” Hargreaves said. “There’s not one person in the City or Canary Wharf who understands retail and we were not consulted once.

“I believe that the British people, who have financed Royal Mail for years, should have been given priority over foreign sovereign wealth funds.”

Hargreaves Lansdown’s systems crashed when trading started on Friday due to demand, but analysts have suggested that the firm still handled an incredible £850m of Royal Mail trades that day, according to the Evening Standard.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Ian Middleton

    A rushed privatisation with little or no research or marketing. Seems like Uncle Vince just pulled a number out of his backside and went with that.

    A nice little earner for all those institutional investors though. Shame the rest of us in this 'share-owning democracy' were limited to only £750 each.

    I think we can see which side this government has it's bread buttered on.

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