Thursday, June 26, 2008

Singapore, Qatar to consider adding to investment in Barclays

Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and the Qatar Investment Authority are part of the lot of Sovereign Wealth Funds considering supporting a share issue by Barclays, which is looking to £4 billion, Financial Times reports. If the funds help with the possible share issue, it would be without any rights issues and Barclays would offer a decent stake to new and existing investors at a small discount on the current share price.

Temasek bought a 2% stake in Barclays in 2007. The QIA, which holds a 15.2% stake in the London Stock Exchange, is reportedly looking at the firm, a person close to the Qatari group said. The move would not be a surprise to most, as the Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani told the World Economic Forum in January that it would consider investing in U.S. and European banks. The QIA could commit up to $15 billion (£7.7 billion) in the sector. The fundraising could be revealed as early as next week.

Despite possible interest from the Middle Eastern nation, Barclays is expected to give Temasek and China Development Bank the right of first refusal for the new shares. The two Asian firms will be forced to decide if they boost their stakes, invest more to maintain their holdings or agree to a stake dilution. END
Source: Alternative Investment News