HC Deb 09 February 1959 vol 599 cc151-2W
Mr. Bence

asked the Secretary to the Treasury (1) what percentage of all existing preference shares in all companies of the British iron and steel industry is held by the Iron and Steel Holding and Realisation Agency;

(2) what percentage of loan stock outstanding is held by the Iron and Steel Holding and Realisation Agency in all British steel companies;

(3) what percentage of the debenture stock of all British steel companies is now held by the Treasury; and what is the average interest rate.

Mr. Erroll

All present Government holdings in the steel industry are in the hands of the Iron and Steel Holding and Realisation Agency. The Agency's present holdings of debentures, loan stock and preference shares in the companies originally vested in it under the Iron and Steel Act, 1953, are:

  1. (i) £99 million of Debenture Stock carrying interest on average at a rate of 5¼ per cent.;
  2. (ii) £28 million of Unsecured Loans;
  3. (iii) £34 million of Preference Shares.

Precise and up to date information is not available about the total now outstanding in these companies, in which the bulk of the equity is now in private hands, but it is estimated that the Agency's holdings amount to 75 per cent. of the total outstanding in category (i), 100 per cent. of category (ii) and 77 per cent. of category (iii).