Qatari Group Takes Share in Barclays

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Byline: By Matt Dickinson

Asian and Middle Eastern investors yesterday owned more of Barclays after the majority of shareholders snubbed the bank's pounds 4.5 billion fund raising.

Barclays said less than a fifth of existing shareholders opted for new shares.

With that translating to an investment of pounds 750 million, it leaves Asian and Middle Eastern banks and sovereign wealth funds contributing the bulk of funds for new shares.

The biggest new investor is the cash-rich Qatari Investment Authority (QIA), which owns six per cent of Barclays thanks to an estimated pounds 1.4 billion investment. Also on board is Challenger, a vehicle led by the Qatari royal family, which is investing around pounds 400 million for a stake of around two per cent.

Japanese group Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation is paying pounds 500 million for a 2.1 per cent holding, with Barclays' existing shareholder China Development Bank maintaining a three per cent stake thanks to a pounds 156 million injection. Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek is contributing in the region of pounds 160 million, and more than a dozen other big institutional investors are also taking part.

Barclays chief executive John Varley said: "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."

Most of the new shares were on offer at 282p, but the bank's stock had dipped below that in recent days amid concerns over further write downs in the banking industry and general economic gloom which depressed the stock market. This would have tested the appetites among smaller investors for the offering. …