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Barclays acknowledges talks over possible sale of iShares business

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UK-based banking group Barclays has acknowledged it has held talks with a view to a possible sale of its iShares exchange traded fund business in order to shore up its capital base.

UK-based banking group Barclays has acknowledged it has held talks with a view to a possible sale of its iShares exchange traded fund business in order to shore up its capital base.

Reports have suggested that Barclays is seeking as much as USD5bn for iShares, the world’s largest ETF provider, and that the group has been negotiating with a private equity bidder.

In a statement, the group said: ‘Barclays notes press comment regarding the potential disposal of iShares and confirms that it has held discussions with a number of potentially interested parties as part of its practice of regularly reviewing the Group’s portfolio of businesses. No decision regarding the disposal of any business has been taken by the board of Barclays.

‘Barclays’ businesses continue to perform well and have had a strong start to 2009. Barclays also confirms that it is in dialogue with HM Treasury and FSA regarding its potential participation in the Government’s Asset Protection Scheme. Barclays’ decision whether and to what extent to participate in the scheme will be based on the economic merits to shareholders of any such participation.’

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