Barclays shares fall after lead investor offloads stake

A Barclays bank building is seen in Canary Wharf in London, Britain May 17, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

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LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) – Shares of Barclays (BARC.L) fell as much as 6% in early trading on Tuesday after one of its top investors sold shares roughly equivalent to a stake of 3% in the lender.

An anonymous investor launched a sale of 575 million shares on Monday evening, facilitated by Goldman Sachs. Read more

The offer was priced at 150 pence on Tuesday, towards the top of the target range of 147.50 pence to 150.75 pence, but this still represented a discount of more than 6% from Monday’s closing price, which increases the pressure on the share price.

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Barclays shares opened down about 6%, near the ask price, before recovering ground. The stock was last down 4.3% at 153.5p at 07:27 GMT.

According to data from Refiniv Eikon, the major shareholders holding about 3% of Barclays’ capital are the Qatar Investment Authority and Blackrock. Blackrock declined to comment when approached by Reuters on Monday, while QIA was not immediately available for comment.

The sale comes as Barclays grapples with yet another compliance and risk error, after disclosing an estimated £450 million ($589 million) loss on Monday due to overselling of structured products in the United States. Read more

The disclosure had already pressured Barclays shares this week, dragging them down 4% on Monday.

Barclays also said it would have to delay a planned £1 billion share buyback because of the loss it will face in buying back the securities in question at their original purchase price.

The regulatory error is an early test for CS Venkatakrishnan, Barclays’ newly appointed chief executive, whose previous roles included heading global markets and the bank’s risk operations.

($1 = 0.7640 pounds)

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Reporting by Iain Withers, editing by Sinead Cruise and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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