After years in which the Arthur Daley Decanter for Salesmanship had been a shoo-in for banks and energy companies, 2013 threw up a more diverse field in what has become the blue riband category. Obviously the perennial runners are still competitive, as was confirmed with Lloyds Banking Group and SSE being slapped with record fines of pounds 28m and pounds 10.5m. But this year's entries contained a new sector, as well as a new way of selling. So, for sheer originality, the decanter goes to the Department for Business , Innovation and Skills, which in October sold 60% of the taxpayer-owned Royal Mail at 330p a share. By the end of that month, the market reckoned the shares were worth 70% more, which wouldn't have been so embarrassing had the chief beneficiaries been UK pension funds, not foreign governments.
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