In a significant move, Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), has reduced its stake in Barclays by selling shares worth around £510 million. The sale, which was carried out through an accelerated book build, saw Qatar Holding offload almost 362 million shares, representing around 2.4% of the bank’s total share capital.
This move marks a substantial reduction in Qatar Holding’s ownership of Barclays, which previously stood at 5.3%. The QIA has been one of Barclays’ largest shareholders since 2008 when it injected £3.5 billion into the bank during the financial crisis.
Analysts believe that the sale is likely driven by a combination of factors, including a desire to diversify Qatar Holding’s investment portfolio and capitalize on Barclays’ recent share price appreciation. Barclays’ share price has risen by over 50% in the past year, making it one of the best-performing stocks in the FTSE 100 index.
The sale is also expected to have implications for Barclays’ corporate governance. Qatar Holding has been a vocal critic of Barclays’ management in recent years, and its reduced stake could weaken its influence over the bank’s decision-making processes.
Barclays has not yet commented on the sale, but it is likely to be welcomed by investors who have been concerned about the QIA’s influence on the bank. The sale could also pave the way for other shareholders to increase their stakes in Barclays, potentially leading to a more diverse ownership structure.
Overall, the sale of Qatar Holding’s Barclays stake is a significant development for the bank and its shareholders. It remains to be seen whether the sale will prompt any changes in Barclays’ strategy or corporate governance, but it is likely to have a lasting impact on the bank’s ownership structure.