INDUSTRY NEWS

Barclays sells to Qatar

Barclays has sold almost eight per cent of its company to the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

It has revealed QIA will take 7.7 per cent of the company as part of the bank’s drive to raise cash.

"The participation of players such as these is one of the most positive manifestations of globalisation," claimed Barclay’s chief executive, John Varley.

"It’s highly positive that there are pools of money that can be put to work in this way. That’s very different to the world of five or ten years ago."

The bank is set to raise £4.5 billion through the sale of shares – almost a quarter of the firm (24 per cent) will now be owned by foreign firms.

In addition to the Qatar purchases, Japanese financial group Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation will take an additional 2.1 pr cent stake at the cost of £500 million.

The bank said the share issue would "provide additional financial resources to allow Barclays to capture opportunities for growth" and strengthen its capital base and "operate capital ratios that are ahead of its targets".

UK lenders with large exposure to commercial property have been most vulnerable to falling commercial property prices.

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