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Royal Mail shares leap while small investors cash out

Small investors rushed to sell their shares today, when official trading began. Photo: Press Association

Amid what passes for razzmatazz at the stock exchange, Royal Mail got its full listing today.

For some it is the final freedom for this organisation, for others it is the final nail in the coffin for a public service now run by private investors.

I was watching the screens of the brokers this morning, and there was a massive number of shares bought and sold.

Within the first five minutes, more than a million were traded. Today has been the first time that 350,000 small investors who bought direct from the government have been able to to sell their shares.

Many were cashing in on more than £300 in profit, and cashing out of Royal Mail.

The government sold for 330 pence per share, this morning they went as high as 490 pence per share. While all that was going on the CWU union held a rally saying they are confident of a strike vote.

Communication Workers Union (CWU) members at the Mount Pleasant Royal Mail site had a mass meeting this morning. Credit: CWU/PA

Moya Greene, Chief Executive of Royal Mail has been speaking for the first time since privatisation. She now needs to drive the organisation forward - and what she told me is that her new company needs more of a shelter against the threat of industrial disputes.

We need to start thinking about what sort of protections do we need as a company from our people from what has been probably too quick an approach to resort to industrial action. I just think we need to look at alternative ways to resolve disputes.

For Royal Mail to get to this stage has been an interesting and bumpy journey - and in so many ways it has only just begun.

Tomorrow the results of CWU the strike ballot will be made public - opening up the prospect of strikes at this critical time between flotation of shares and the busiest Christmas period.

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