Barclays hit by claims it misled shareholders over Abu Dhabi government investment

Barclays came under fire again Monday for reportedly misleading shareholders over a three billion-dollar investment by the owner of Manchester City F.C.

Barclays came under fire again Monday for reportedly misleading shareholders over a three billion-dollar investment by the owner of Manchester City F.C.

The news comes in the wake of the bank's £290m fine to UK and US regulators over LIBOR rigging and mis-selling of payment protection insurance.

The bank announced in 2008 that Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour had agreed to invest funds to help avoid a government bailout - but the money actually came from Abu Dhabi's government, according to a BBC Panorama investigation.

Barclays was rescued in 2008 by £7.0bn worth of new investment, most of which came from Qatar and Abu Dhabi.

Half of the amount was supposed to have come from Mansour but Barclays has confessed it was told the investor might change shortly before shareholders backed the deal.

The bank allegedly kept quiet until the change was confirmed a few hours later.

It claimed to have later provided "appropriate disclosure" in three prospectuses that were issued the following day.

However, the disclosure was apparently hidden in the fine print which said that Mansour had arranged for his investment to be funded by an Abu Dhabi government vehicle which would become the indirect shareholder.

The bank continued to identify Mansour as the investor in its annual reports of 2008 and 2009.

Barclays said the mistake in its accounts was "a drafting error" and the information in the prospectuses was "entirely appropriate in all the circumstances".

"The shareholders meeting had already taken place and there was therefore no need to issue press releases or additional formal communications to shareholders/other market participants," the bank added.

The revelations are the latest in a string of scandals including the bank's rate fixing and reports it would be slashing about 3,500 jobs from its 23,300-strong workforce.

The bank will reveal its full-year 2012 results Tuesday when new Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins unveils his so-called 'Project Transform' business strategy.

Shares rose 0.40% to 299.95p at 15:27 Monday.

RD

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