By Daniel Hunter

Shares in Royal Mail will make their debut on the stock market this morning, with initial prices starting at 330p per share.

The company will therefore have an initial value of £3.3 billion. Demand for shares far outstripped supply, with almost 700,000 private investors applying for shares.

Private investors who applied for the minimum £750 up to £10,000 will receive shares worth £749.10. Applications for more than £10,000 will receive nothing.

Royal Mail employees will have their applications met up to £10,000.

Employees were also given a free allocation of shares, with 99.7% of staff taking up the offer.

But Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, said he did not expect the take-up to affect the outcome of a strike ballot next Wednesday.

“In austerity Britain no one is going to turn down free money. The real test will be next Wednesday, and I am convinced that postal workers will vote for action,” he told the BBC.

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