Barclays cash call makes Qatar biggest single investor

LONDON - The Gulf state of Qatar became the biggest investor in Barclays on Friday, after the British bank raised 4.5 billion pounds (8.9 billion dollars, 5.7 billion euros) with a share issue.

By (AFP)

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Published: Fri 18 Jul 2008, 9:32 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:52 PM

Barclays said in a statement that existing shareholders had snapped up 19 percent of the shares, while the remainder was bought by Asian and Middle Eastern investors in line with an agreement sealed last month.

Following the cash call, the state-run Qatar Investment Authority owns about six percent of Barclays, while a fund representing the interests of Qatar's prime minister has just under two percent.

Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) has also bought a stake, while Singapore's public investment group Temasek and the state-run China Development Bank (CDB) have increased their holdings.

"I'm pleased to welcome new shareholders to our register as a result of our capital raising," said Barclays chief executive John Varley in the statement.

"We look forward to building on our relationships with our new shareholders, Qatar Investment Authority and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and we appreciate the support of existing owners of our shares including China Development Bank, Temasek, and other institutional holders."

Barclays is the latest international bank to raise new capital by issuing shares in a bid to strengthen finances which have been hammered by losses related to the US subprime mortgage crisis.

CDB and Temasek became Barclays investors last year when the bank was seeking financial firepower in its unsuccessful attempt to buy Dutch giant ABN Amro.

However, ABN was acquired for 100 billion dollars by a European consortium comprising Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander of Spain and Belgian-Dutch group Fortis.

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