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IPIC set to sell stake in Barclays

MIDDLE Eastern Barclays investor International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) is disposing of some of the shares it took in the bank last Autumn, City A.M. can confirm.<br /><br />The state-owned Abu Dhabi investment group, which took a controversial stake in Barclays and helped it stave off UK government control last year, said it intended to dispose of some of its convertible shares.<br /><br />City A.M. understands that some of Barclay&rsquo;s major investors have been contacted by Credit Suisse about their interest in buying shares owned by the investment vechicle, which is controlled by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi&rsquo;s rulling family.<br /><br />&ldquo;Some might say that this is IPIC getting out at the first opportunity,&rdquo; one source close to the talks said, &ldquo;but they forget that IPIC were there in Barclays&rsquo; darkest hour&rdquo;.<br /><br />&ldquo;In the period since IPIC and the government of Abu Dhabi took a position in Barclays, we have been able to broaden our strategic and commercial relationship,&rdquo; chief executive John Varley said.<br /><br />IPIC said its decision to sell was based on its long-term investment strategy, which is more focused on energy stocks, and was not a reflection on the performance &ndash; or the future &ndash; of the bank<br /><br />Barclays&rsquo; shares have rallied recently as fears that it would be nationalised subsided.