Thursday, January 22, 2009

Has greedy John Varley unwittingly sold a majority stake in Barclays for a song?

Is this the man who sold Barclays down the river?

While Barclays' main British rivals, Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS and Lloyds TSB, were forced to go begging to the British Government for assistance, Barclays persuaded the royal families of Abu Dhabi and Qatar, and the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, to stump up £7 billion. They agreed to wait seven months for conversion to shares at a price of 153p. However, if at any time before 30 June, Barclays raises more money at a lower price, the Arabs can exchange their notes. As Barclays shares have since slumped to 66p, they could almost triple their holding - which would give them around 55 per cent of the British bank. For Barclays, the UK provides more than 50 per cent of its earnings. The rapidly weakening UK economy has made its condition even more fragile.

Posted by cozza @ 02:09 PM (1338 views)
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10 thoughts on “Has greedy John Varley unwittingly sold a majority stake in Barclays for a song?

  • With the Russians taking over our newspapers and the Middle East our Banks, who really owns the UK?

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    That’s the joke here, Lloyds HBOS et al were nationalised by the UK government and Barclays are being taken over by the Abu Dhabi and Qatar governments.

    Personally I prefer the idea of foreigners bailing them out and taking them over – UK savers and borrowers can always move to proper UK building societies if they want, leaving Johhny Foreigner holding the rubbish that’s left behind – that doesn’t cost the UK taxpayer a penny.

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  • little professor says:

    Not unwittingly. He knowingly went to the Arabs for money rather than accepting the government handout, which was much cheaper and came with less strings attached. The only reason he did this was so he and his director chums could keep their fat bonuses – one of the few conditions attached to the government bailout. He was happy to sell the bank’s future down the river in return for pocketing millions in personal wealth. He and the rest of the Board should be imprisoned once all this is over.

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  • well said lp ~~~ put it in an open letter to GB ~~~ eff all will happen but you will have done something no-one else has done.

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  • ‘That’s the joke here, Lloyds HBOS et al were nationalised by the UK government and Barclays are being taken over by the Abu Dhabi and Qatar governments.’
    Mark you’ve hit the nail on the head i.e. ‘governments’.
    What you have is a recipe for 1 global bank. The ingredients at present being an ever increasing measure/mixture of inter nation state owned government banks. After some time gather all the ingredients together and mix to get ……. dictatorship as you’ve never seen before!

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  • unwittingly?

    No absolutely not.

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  • The catch here is probably that if the arabs decide they have been ripped off and clearly they have, they will ask the UK government to compensate them once Barclays has been nationalised.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    YoYo1 – let’s assume that the Arabs buy up all out banks, it’s perfectly possible, what with the market cap of all major banks (bar HSBC) is about £20 billion or something.

    Fine, so what? What’s to stop you moving your savings account to the Nationwide? What’s to stop you moving your mortgage to the Britannia or HSBC? Answer, nothing.

    And what use is a bank that has just lost all its good customers?

    F-all? F-all divided by six? The square root thereof?

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  • Mark
    I don’t think that this will be just an Arab thing, it’s an international governments initiative led firstly from the UK (remember Gordon’s statement ‘to follow our example’). Eventually when all global nationalised banks combine into one, would that become a force to be reckoned with, political or otherwise?

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  • Before the angry mob start calling for people to be imprisoned, could you please read the below?

    http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2009/01/22/51549/of-barclays-warrants-and-mcns/

    The premise of the ES article linked to is wrong. Silly journos with 0 financial literacy / silly hpc posters believing the ES.

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