Each Penny RBS Shares Rise, Gov't Gets $680 Million

It's exciting times for long-only shareholders around the globe. With the resurgence of global equity markets, stale holdings are suddenly looking more attractive and one shareholder especially will be whooping with joy this morning. The UK Government can look down at its holding in beleaguered Royal Bank of Scotland and sing from the rafters: "We’re in the money!"

I know. Shock, horror! But put down your smelling salts and I’ll share with you through what I found on the RBS Web site.

According to the RBS Sustainability Report 2008: "As the holder of 70.3 percent of issued ordinary share capital, the UK government stands to receive ordinary share dividends, once payments are resumed. As at May 2009, it stands to make a positive gain on its ordinary share capital from an RBS share price of 50.4 pence and above, with every 1 pence gain in the share price increasing the value of the government’s investment by almost £400 million." ($680 million)

RBS is, as I write, trading at 53.45p, up 9.8 percent on the session. So, quick back of the envelope calculation and me and the rest of the UK taxpayers are up £440 million.

Exciting times, indeed, for the Treasury at No. 11 Downing Street.