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Mon 24 Nov 2008 03:49 PM

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Barclays shareholders back $10bn fundraising

Other banks including Standard Chartered seek new funds in wake of Citigroup bailout.

Shareholders of British bank Barclays backed a $10 billion fundraising on Monday and Standard Chartered sought new funds too as investors absorbed the weekend rescue of US-based Citigroup.

Barclays chairman Marcus Agius said investors had voted in favour of the British bank's controversial 7 billion-pound ($10.44 billion) fundraising.

A final tally will be released later. Barclays had been expected to get the 75 percent approval it needed for the plan to go ahead. However, there is likely to be a high number of abstentions in protest, analysts and fund managers have said.

Top five investor Legal and General last week said it would vote in favour of the plan, even though it does not like the structure of the controversial deal, which over-rode traditional shareholder pre-emption rights in favour of new investors.

Earlier on Monday, emerging markets bank Standard Chartered said it planned to raise 1.8 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) in a rights issue.

The London-based lender said the funds would allow it to take advantage of the turmoil, and distanced itself from banks facing funding difficulties.

"Having more capital will give us greater flexibility to take advantage of growth opportunities emerging from the turmoil, both organic and inorganic," said Standard Chartered chief executive Peter Sands.

"Many of our competitors are in disarray, lacking capital or liquidity or distracted by problems."

Standard Chartered's move came in the wake of the US government's $306 billion rescue package for Citigroup late on Sunday.

Elsewhere in Europe a top Swiss bank regulator said on Sunday that UBS is likely to need a fresh capital injection from the state.

On Monday, Deutsche Bank chief executive Josef Ackermann told staff in a letter that the German bank is considering changes to its business strategy.

In the Middle East, the UAE moved to shore up confidence in a policy shift that will see it bail out Dubai's lenders by injecting capital into Emirates Development Bank, a newly created rescue vehicle preparing to absorb merging Islamic lenders Amlak Finance and Tamweel. (Reuters)

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