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Standard Life reveals 90 million shares unclaimed

UK-based financial services group The Standard Life Assurance Company has revealed that more than 235,000 former members who are now shareholders are yet to claim a total of almost 90 million shares, following the group's demutualization and flotation in July 2006.

According to the group, the closing share price of 306 pence on January 2, 2007 values these shares at a total of approximately GBP272 million. The shares, which are currently being held in the company’s Unclaimed Assets Trust (UAT), represent 4.2% of Standard Life’s total shareholding.

Standard Life has also revealed that a further sum of almost GBP18 million in cash, also being held in the company’s UAT in a combination of sterling, euro and Canadian dollars, has yet to be claimed by almost 20,000 former members.

According to Standard Life, around 7,000 former members are coming forward each month to claim shares and or cash from the UAT. Anyone entitled to shares or cash has until July 10, 2016 to come forward, after which time the proceeds of the UAT will be used for general corporate purposes, which, according to the company, may include charitable giving.

A spokesman for Standard Life said: We are pleased that people are continuing to come forward to claim their shares and cash. However, we would like the Unclaimed Assets Trust to decline further in value. It is neither in the best interests of the individuals concerned, or the company, for these assets to be lying in trust.

Standard Life shareholders will see the group’s first dividend in 2007, as well as the issuance of bonus shares. Both the dividend and bonus shares will be awarded to those shareholdings currently being held in the UAT.