Investec opts for share placing to buy back debt

SOUTH African and British investment bank Investec said yesterday it had raised &pound;85.5m via the placing of 22m new shares, to fund the repurchase of debt at a discount and improve its tier one capital ratio.<br /><br />The company said the placing would improve its capital ratio in accordance with the company&rsquo;s aim of maintaining capital levels significantly above regulatory requirements.<br /><br />&ldquo;This offering gives Investec the flexibility to prudently repurchase debt at a discount to par and... the opportunity to deliver long term shareholder value, while preserving a strong tier one capital position,&rdquo; said chief executive Stephen Koseff.<br /><br />However, Investec shares fell 3.74&nbsp; per cent to 392.75p on fears that the placing could dilute earnings.<br /><br />The 22m shares were issued at 390p each and represent 4.92 per cent of existing ordinary shares.