March 16, 2009

Barclays in talks to sell iShares

British bank Barclays said it had been in talks concerning sale of iShares, its exchange-traded funds business, to strengthen its capital position.

iShares, based in San Francisco, is part of Barclays Global Investors, a fund manager that is among the world's largest, managing $1.5 trillion in assets, The Times of London reported Monday.

Barclays has discussed a sale with a number of potentially interested parties, the firm said in a statement.

If sold, the boost in Barclay's position would help it avoid participation in the government's plan to insure bank assets. Barclays has, so far, managed to sidestep accepting government funding to negotiate the financial crisis.

The bank is expected to raise about $6 billion with the sale of iShares, the Times said.