Barclays to launch £5bn-plus rights issue

Barclays Bank
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Barclays will on Tuesday launch a rights issue to raise more than £5 billion as the UK bank moves fast to come into line with British regulatory requirements on leverage, according to two people briefed on the transaction.

Antony Jenkins, who took over as Barclays' chief executive a year ago, will also unveil details to shrink the bank's balance sheet.

(Read more: Barclays to fight $453 million power fine in US court)

The moves, which echo initiatives at Deutsche Bank in recent months, will leave Barclays with a core tier one capital ratio of around 9.5 per cent under "fully-loaded" incoming Basel III rules, according to one person briefed on the plan. That ratio – which measures equity as a proportion of risk-weighted assets – brings Barclays back into line with global rivals, after a period of underperformance.

Barclays was spurred into the capital and balance sheet measures when the UK's Prudential Regulation Authority last month said it had a leverage ratio of only 2.5 per cent, after factoring in expected losses and other costs, compared with a requirement of 3 per cent.

Two people involved in that exercise said Barclays had recently negotiated a longer timeframe to bridge the gap, pushing back the end-2013 deadline that former PRA chairman Lord King wanted by a year. However, the bank's new capital plan will make any extension academic.

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A third element of the plan – to issue some form of convertible bonds – was still being finalised on Monday. Bankers said it remained unclear whether the precise details on the timing or volume of any issue would be announced at the same time as the rights issue.

Barclays is also set to announce second-quarter results on Tuesday, with a Bloomberg poll of analyst expectations forecasting a 19 per cent rise in underlying pre-tax profit to £2.1bn.

(Read more: S&P cuts ratings of Credit Suisse, Barclays, Deutsche Bank)

The Barclays announcement is set to come on the same day that arch rival Deutsche Bank will also unveil plans to shrink its balance sheet by up to 20 per cent alongside second-quarter results.

Barclays has lined up four book runners for its rights issue – Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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