Barclays to Raise $1.72 Billion in New Issue
LONDON (AP) _ Barclays PLC, a major British bank, said Thursday that it would raise 921 million pounds, or about $1.72 billion at current exchange rates, by offering its stockholders the opportunity to buy new shares.
A spokeswoman in New York, meanwhile, denied rumors that the bank was raising money to persue a friendly acquisition of Irving Bank Corp., a New York bank holding company resisting a hostile takeover from rival Bank of New York Co.
″No talks are going on and we have no interest,″ said Marion J. Cotrone, a vice president at Barclays.
Barclays said the stock issue - its largest ever - will be used to expand domestic and international business, ″with particular emphasis on the major economies of Europe, the (United States) and the Far East.″
Under the one-for-two rights issue, Barclays shareholders will be able to buy one new Barclays share at a substantial discount for every two they already own.
The bank said it will issue 369.5 million new shares at a price of 250 pence, or about $4.68, each. Expenses will be deducted from the total raised.
News of the issue sent Barclays shares tumbling on the London Stock Exchange. The shares were down 48 pence each at 434 pence.
Share prices were depressed Wednesday by rumors that a major rights issue would be launched, but Barclays’ announcement, while knocking down bank shares, hardly had any impact on the wider market.