BARCLAYS’ shares dropped sharply yesterday after a sizeable sale of warrants by Qatar Holdings, which invested heavily in the bank at the height of the financial crisis.
Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank bought the warrants – which can convert into shares at a later date – from the fund, and aimed to sell up to 303m shares in Barclays to avoid being left with a residual position.
The sale of 80 per cent of the equity in the warrants would cover the cost of the instruments, though some warrants were also sold directly, reducing the amount of stock that the banks needed to sell.
By not selling the whole position, the banks generated speculation that the stock was overpriced.
However bank sources close to the deal insisted there was no problem with demand – rather, they suggest the banks may simply be interested in holding the warrants They claim to be “comfortable” with the result.
Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. Barclays’ shares fell 5.39 per cent on the day.