Royal Bank of Scotland shares plummet

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Monday, January 19, 2009

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The RBS headquarters
Image: Thunderwing.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has lost around 70% of its share price in a matter of hours, after news reports indicated a GBP 28 billion loss for 2008, and the UK government pledged to increase its stake in the company to 70%.

The RBS shares in London opened today at 34.50, and apart from a small increase to 34.90, the shares have been below that rate throughout the day. The shares fell to just over 10, although they have since recovered very slightly to 11.60 as of 16:05 UTC.

These low share prices are only a fraction of the 52 week high of 427.50p, and the all time high of 607p. The all time high was reached approximately two years ago, in February 2007.

In addition to the falls in London, RBS shares in New York also fell dramatically on their most recent trading day. The shares fell by 10.33%.

The bank's chief executive, Stephen Hester, spoke to The Times regarding the poor performance of his company. "The world remains an uncertain place. We can all be sure there will be future significant credit losses but we can’t be sure of what amount and what timing…all banks are facing uncertainties," he said.