By William James
LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) - Britain listed on Wednesday sixteen "priority investors" in the Royal Mail privatisation that a government watchdog says were given preferential treatment in a share sale which lawmakers say was mishandled.
The investors were consulted over pricing and had shown willingness to be long-term holders of the stock but sold almost half their stakes within weeks as the share price almost doubled from its 330 pence offer price, a National Audit Office (NAO) report says.
Business Secretary Vince Cable, who led the sale, on Tuesday rebuffed stiff criticism from a panel of lawmakers, including on the role of the "priority investors", and said that he had no regrets and no apologies to make.
On Wednesday, in a statement accompanying the names, he said: "I had been advised that the investors expected confidentiality around their share acquisitions but there has been strong interest in who the investors are and speculation around the names, some of it inaccurate."
"I have decided the public has an interest in an accurate list being available."
The firms were:
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority,
GIC (Singapore sovereign wealth fund),
Kuwait Investment Office,
Lazard Asset Management,
(Editing by Louise Ireland)