Demand for Royal Mail shares from private investors has already reached unexpected highs, with retail stockbrokers reporting being deluged with enquiries since the shares became available on Friday.
Private investors could hold up to 15% of Royal Mail after its privatisation, even though it is targeted at big City institutions rather than ordinary members of the public.
The Government will retain at least 38% of Royal Mail, with 10% set aside for 150,000 postal workers. Of the 52% or more being sold in the initial public offering, City institutions will take what is not granted to individuals.
It is understood that the Government has brought forward the full listing to the October 15 to avoid it landing in the middle of potential industrial action. The earliest the CWU could go on strike is October 23.
The looming strike was flagged up to potential investors last week in the 450-page prospectus for the float, which included a long list of “risks”.
Royal Mail has already warned potential investors that the action could cause the price of shares to “fall significantly”.
The move follows confirmation from shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna that the Labour Party will not promise to renationalise Royal Mail if it wins the next General Election.
Labour’s conference voted to commit the party to renationalisation, but sources made it clear at the time the policy would not be adopted by the leadership.
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