LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Citigroup and Bank of America remained in possession of some shares in Barclays after they failed to see sufficient demand for a 510 million pound ($642 million) stake sold by Qatar Holding, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The two bookrunners of the block trade set out to sell a 2.3 percent stake in the bank on Monday. Qatar wanted to reduce its crisis-era investments in the British Barclays bank, which is struggling to revive its share price.
Barclays, BofA and Citigroup declined to comment. Qatar Holding did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside normal business hours.
Reuters could not determine how much of the shares sold by the Qatari sovereign wealth fund the two banks still held. The banks can sell the shares over time.
The banks valued the deal at 141 pence at 2120 GMT on Monday, a 1.4% discount to the closing price of Barclays shares, a source familiar with the matter previously told Reuters.
However, only part of the offering was placed with investors and the rest remained with investment banks, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Shares in Barclays fell as much as 4.5% on Tuesday morning in block trading, closing down around 2.5%.
Qatar became Barclays’ largest shareholder during the 2008 financial crisis when it injected £4 billion into the British bank, averting a tax rescue. It remains a significant shareholder in the bank after the sale on Monday.
Britain’s financial regulator later fined Barclays $55 million for fees paid to Qatari companies as part of fundraising in 2008. Barclays announced that it would appeal.
As Reuters reported last month, Barclays began drawing up plans this year to save up to £1 billion, which could include cutting up to 2,000 jobs, mostly in back offices.
As Reuters previously reported, the company is also selling its consumer finance unit in Germany and is considering selling a stake in its domestic merchant services business.
Barclays has also expressed interest in taking over Tesco’s banking business.
($1 = 0.7945 pounds)
Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro and Anousha Sakoui; Edited by Elisa Martinuzzi and Alexander Smith
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As part of Reuters’ deals team, Pablo covers equity and debt capital markets transactions across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, from initial public offerings to buyout financings. Previously he worked at Mergermarket, Euromoney and Spanish digital media. Contact: +447721821589