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Leading European bank stocks tumbled on Friday as worries mounted that the U.S. subprime crisis has taken a sharp turn for the worse and will force another round of hefty writedowns of bank exposures.
Shares in British bank Barclays fell heavily in morning trade Friday and were among the biggest losers in Europe on market talk of funding worries and concern that Britain's third-biggest bank was guiding down numbers.
Banks and other financial institutions have expressed interest in providing more than $60 billion towards a super-sized fund aimed at bailing out structured investment vehicles, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
A manager at Royal Bank of Scotland will replace ABN Amro CEO Rijkman Groenink as the RBS-led consortium buying the Dutch bank in the industry's largest takeover took the first step in the process of carving it up.
A Royal Bank of Scotland-led trio of banks said its offer to buy ABN Amro had beenaccepted by around 86% of the Dutch bank's shareholders, paving the way for the consortium to clinch the $101.6 billion acquisition, the biggest banking takeover ever.
Investors representing 85% of shares in ABN AMRO have accepted a 70-billion-euro ($99 billion) bid for the Dutch bank from a consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland, the Financial Times said.
Royal Bank of Scotland has effectively completed the financing for its part of the ABN Amro takeover, raising 5 billion euros ($7 billion) in the biggest fundraising of its type on record.
A group led by Royal Bank of Scotland has doubled its stake in ABN Amro to more than 8%, cutting the cost of its takeover bid for the bank by about 1%, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
The U.K.'s top banks are mulling borrowing funds from the Bank of England's 10 billion pounds ($20 billion) facility to remove the stigma attached to it and restore confidence in the banking system, the Financial Times reported Friday.
Belgium's Fortis, one of three banks bidding as part of a consortium to buy ABN Amro Holding, released details of a 13.2 billion euros ($18.4 billion) share issue Friday to raise cash to fund its part of the takeover.
British bank Barclays' bid for ABN Amro, one of two offers for the Dutch bank, is too low to be recommended to shareholders, ABN's chief executive said on Thursday.
Barclays stood by the value of its takeover bid for ABN Amro Friday, saying the rival consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland, which submitted a higher offer, could find it difficult to raise funds in the tight lending conditions, Reuters reported.
Barclays Private Equity, the private equity arm of U.K. bank Barclays, raised 2.4 billion euros ($3.3 billion) for its third European fund, with the level of commitment from investors exceeding expectations, the bank said in a statement.
Barclays Capital bailed out a highly-leveraged investment fund, hit by recent tightness in the credit market, with a $1.5-billion (738-million-pound) lifeline, London newspaper the Times reported Wednesday.
A consortium led by the Royal Bank of Scotland which is locked in a battle with Barclays to take over ABN Amro launched a website to explain to the Dutch bank's employees how the proposed merger would affect them.
British bank Barclays is trading up over 3% after the head of its Barclays Capital investment banking arm told investors that profits for the year-to-date are "well ahead" of 2006, with the unit positioned for future growth despite market jitters.
Stocks closed broadly lower as already jittery investors expressed disappointment that the latest Fed minutes showed policymakers were reluctant to cut interest rates. "The comments from the Fed not indicating that a rate cut was imminent and further deterioration in the financial sector -- all of this combined and we're down substantially here," said Brian Schaeffer, an NYSE floor specialist at Van der Moolen.
Barclays Capital, the investment banking arm of U.K. bank Barclays, said on Friday it will provide financing to a structured investment vehicle (SIV) it helped set up last year.
British bank Barclays denied a report on Tuesday that it has several hundred million dollars of exposure to failed debt vehicles structured by its investment banking arm.
Fear of financial companies is again gripping world stock markets. Selling in financial shares-- banks and brokers--was a theme in the U.S. market yesterday but continued around the globe as investors worry that credit problems would show up on the books of major financial institutions. Several headlines helped stir the fear. European markets are weaker this morning, and Asian stocks closed mostly lower.