Week in Review

November 30, 2012 6:43 pm

Interest in Barclays grows ahead of review

Interest in the future shape of Barclays is beginning to mount ahead of a strategy overhaul set to be announced by Antony Jenkins, its new chief executive, early next year.

Some of Barclays’ biggest investors this week urged Mr Jenkins to trim its investment bank, and consider following the example of UBS . Last month the Swiss bank said it would retreat from the fixed-income side of its investment banking business and cut about 10,000 jobs, providing a fillip to its share price.

Mr Jenkins has been hearing investors’ views ahead of his strategy review in February. Part of this is a performance analysis, breaking the bank down into 75 operating units and assessing each one’s cost of capital and return on equity. The bank has also been working on projects to prepare for the prospective ring-fencing requirements set out in the Vickers reforms.

Separately, Qatar Holding this week sold Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank the rights to buy a large holding of the UK bank’s shares that it received amid a cash call during the financial crisis.

The direct investment arm of the Gulf sovereign wealth fund stressed that it would hold on to the 6.7 per cent stake that it acquired in two equity raisings in 2008. If exercised, the warrants – which give investors the right to buy shares at an agreed price before October next year – would have enabled it to buy roughly an additional 3 per cent stake.

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