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Barclays Shareholders Take Up 19% of Open Offer

Reuters
Friday, 18 Jul 2008 | 3:08 AM ET

Barclays' shareholders took up just 19 percent of new shares in the British bank's recently announced fundraising, meaning the bulk of the money will be provided by mostly new "anchor" investors led by Qatar.

Sang Tan

Britain's third-biggest bank said last month it had raised 4.5 billion pounds ($9 billion) from major investors in Qatar, Japan, China, Singapore and elsewhere, and it would give existing shareholders the chance to buy on the same terms.

That allowed them to buy shares at 282 pence each.

However, Barclays shares have been trading below this level for much of the week.

Barclays said on Friday that qualifying shareholders had signed up to 267.1 million new shares and the remaining 1.14 billion new shares would be taken by the "anchor" investors.

Banks across the world have been trying to raise money to boost their balance sheets which have been hit by write-downs on risky assets due to the lock down in credit markets.

"I'm pleased to welcome new shareholders to our register as a result of our capital raising," Barclays Chief Executive John Varley said in a 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 shares closed at 290.5 pence on Thursday, valuing the bank at about 19 billion pounds.

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