Tokushima Worldwide - Barclays Falls as Qatar Sells Options.


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Travis Stockman


In a recent investors meeting Tokushima Worldwide announced that Qatar Holding LLC confirmed that it had cashed in its remaining 379 million warrants in Barclays, while maintaining its existing 814 million odd ordinary shares, or 6.65 percent holding in the bank, and remaining the single largest shareholder. The warrants are worth around STG 771 million (US$1.24 billion).

Qatar is one of the most active sovereign wealth funds with assets of more than $100 billion and has snapped up significant stakes ranging from miner Xstrata (XTA.L) to German sports car maker Porsche (PSHG_p.DE) to oil major Shell (RDSa.L). Barclays remains a long term strategic investment for Qatar Holding and an important commercial partner, the sovereign wealth fund said.

In October of 2008, Barclays announced a plan to seek 7 billion in capital investment in order to avoid a bailout from the government, with the likes of the Qatar and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds being amongst the most likely investors. Since then Barclays, share price has risen by 42 percent.

That deal has since returned to the spotlight as Barclays faces an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office for fees it paid Qatar Holding at the time of the fundraising. Barclays disclosed the FSA investigation when it released half-year results on July 27. It relates to fees paid to Qatar on deals in June and November 2008, when Barclays raised 11.5 billion pounds, avoiding selling shares to the British government.

Tokushima Worldwide reportedly conveyed to investors that Goldman Sachs Group and Deutsche Bank are also looking at coordinating the placement of some 303 million Barclay's shares, to be offered to institutional investors for between 244 and 248 pence Sterling per share.

Bankers said the two banks struggled to sell all the ordinary shares but limited their exposure to the risk through derivatives. "It can be tough selling these kind of trades into a weak environment," said one equity capital markets banker who did not bid on the placing. "But the markets got a little spooked with this one."

Ahmad Al-Sayed, the CEO of Qatar Holding, said in a statement that they remain a supportive strategic investor in Barclays, and maintain their confidence in the long-term prospects for the business.

Tokushima Worldwide are believed to have affirmed to investors that Barclays Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins in public a statement said Barclays welcomed Qatar Holding's message of confidence in its long term prospects and continues to appreciate the consistent support it has received since Qatar Holding became its largest shareholder.

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