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Japan’s Sumitomo offloads half its stake in Barclays

The sale will reduce Sumitomo’s stake in Barclays to 0.66 per cent.

Japan-based Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) has sold half of its 1.3 per cent stake, worth £260.5m, in the British bank Barclays to improve its parent Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group’s capital efficiency.

The sale will reduce Sumitomo’s share holding in Barclays to 0.66 per cent.

SMBC sold 84.5 million shares at 308.5 pence each through a secondary offering in international market.

With this sale there will be no changes in the existing business cooperation between the two companies including offering investment solutions to wealthy customers in Japan.

SMBC, which started implementation of Basel III rules in April 2013, purchased 169 million shares in Barclays at 296 pence each in June 2008 during the financial crisis. The Japanese group, along with investors from Qatar, Singapore and China, also invested in Barclay’s £4.5bn fundraising round in June 2008.

The banking firms started a private joint venture with Nikko Cordial Securities named SMBC Barclays Wealth Division to target rich customers of Japan in July 2010.

Meanwhile, shares of Barclays declined by 2.3 per cent at 309 pence in early trading on Thursday.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is the parent company of SMBC offering a diverse range of financial services, centered on banking operations, and includes credit card services, leasing, information services, and securities.