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Barclays seeks to reassure markets after share price slide


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Tue, 27 Jan 2009 05:36
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London - Britain's Barclays Bank Monday sought to reassure shareholders that its finances are sound despite a steep fall in its share price last week and said it expected write-downs for 2008 to total 8 billion pounds (11 billion dollars). In a letter to shareholders, the bank's chairman and chief executive said they would not seek financial help from the government.

They said Barclays would publish its 2008 results early, on February 9, instead of later next month, which would show that the bank's profits would be "well-ahead" of the 5.3 billion pounds forecast by analysts.

It expected write-downs from the credit market exposures of Barclays Capital in its upcoming financial report to amount to 8 billion pounds.

In an open letter to the stock market, chairman Marcus Agius and chief executive John Varley said they wanted to "address the principal causes of concern which we are hearing."

Barclays lost almost half of its value last week amid fears that it would have to turn to the government for funding help when the extent of losses is revealed.

Barclays would not need to ask the government for any financial help, said the letter.

The bank shunned a taxpayer bail-out last year. It surprised markets by raising more than 7 billion pounds through a fundraising which leaves almost a third of the bank in the hands of Middle East investors.


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