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Abu Dhabi firm eyes stake sale

A major Middle Eastern shareholder in Barclays Plc said yesterday that it intends to sell part of its stake, potentially taking a big profit on its seven-month investment.

Barclays shares fell more than 13 percent in early trading on the London Stock Exchange yesterday.

Barclays turned to investors from Abu Dhabi and Qatar in November for an injection of up to 7.3 billion pounds (US$12 billion) to shore up its balance sheet, rather than take on the British government as a major shareholder as Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group did.

International Petroleum Investment Co, controlled by the royal family of Abu Dhabi, said it planned to sell 1.3 billion shares in Barclays held by its subsidiary, PCP Gulf Invest 1 Ltd.

IPIC said a second unit, PCP Gulf Invest 2 Ltd, was considering the sale of its stake, but declined to say the size. A third unit - PCP Gulf Invest 3 Ltd - has no intention to sell its shares.

The Abu Dhabi company invested 2 billion pounds in Barclays, but the shares currently are worth about 4 billion pounds. The investments are in the form of mandatory convertible notes and reserve capital instruments.


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