Qatar wealth fund eyes Barclays stake: report

DUBAI Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:43am EDT

A Barclays sign is seen outside a branch of Barclays Bank in central London May 15, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A Barclays sign is seen outside a branch of Barclays Bank in central London May 15, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is considering backing a share issue by British bank Barclays (BARC.L), which could raise more than 4 billion pounds ($7.81 billion) from investors, the Financial Times reported.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which has said it bought under 2 percent of Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX) this year, could help Barclays rebuild its capital reserves without a rights issue, the FT reported on Wednesday.

"We're looking at it," a person close to the QIA was quoted by the FT as saying.

QIA adviser John el-Khair declined to comment on the report when contacted by Reuters. The QIA manages assets worth about $60 billion, according to a study by Standard Chartered Plc.

Qatar is looking to spending between $10 billion and $15 billion over the next two years on bank stakes, Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told Reuters in February.

Singapore-based Temasek Holdings TEM.UL may also be considering an investment in Barclays, the Financial Times said.

(Reporting by Daliah Merzaban and John Irish; Editing by Quentin Bryar)

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