UK

Tesco Supermarket Left Reeling As More Investors Dump Shares

02/09/2014 11:36 BST | Updated 02/09/2014 11:59 BST
Rui Vieira/PA Wire
File photo dated 31/12/13 of customers with their shopping leave a Tesco store as Britain's biggest supermarket is expected to post a third successive quarter of worsening sales when latest trading figures are published.

Tesco has been left reeling after a raft of big banks and fund managers dumped shares in the troubled retail giant.

Deutsche Bank sold 18 million shares worth £40 million for its clients yesterday, on top of the £6 million it sold last month, the Independent reported. Invesco and State Street have also followed suit, selling £8 million and nearly £1 million worth of shares respectively.

The latest blow comes after American investment firm Harris Associates was reported to have slashed its stake in the grocer by nearly two thirds, warning that it had become "too risky' to invest in.

Tesco's biggest investors have sold nearly £400 million in shares over the last two months, like Axa, Brewin Dolphin, Scottish fund manager Walter Scott & Partners, ABN Amro, JPMorgan and Legal & General.

This comes in the same week as Dave Lewis took over at Tesco as its new boss, coming from the consumer goods giant Unilever. His predecessor, Philip Clarke, was forced to resign after the retailer revealed its worst trading figures in 40 years.

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Lewis told the Evening Standard on Monday that he planned to offer a "fresh perspective" as Tesco's new chief executive.

Explaining why he took the job at Britain's biggest retailer, Lewis said: “I needed to find out for myself whether I can lead a whole business. Some people think that is crazy given some of the jobs I have done but actually I don’t think you know whether you can truly lead a business until you sit in that seat.”

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