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Rating:Will an ETF Giant End Up on the Block? Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, March 13, 2009

Will an ETF Giant End Up on the Block?

by: Armie Margaret Lee

The speculation involving the fate of Barclays Global Investors has hit the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Friday morning, the Journal reported that BGI's London-based parent, Barclays PLC, could face a choice between selling shares to the state or selling profitable assets should it decide to participate in a government insurance plan.

The cost of participation could be high, analysts said, and that could force Barclays to issue shares to the government. It could also raise capital by selling San Francisco-based BGI, or a portion of its emerging-markets business, the Journal reported, citing analysts and "people familiar with the situation."

Analysts at Sanford Bernstein in London said that BGI could fetch between 5 billion and 5.5 billion ($7.01 billion to $7.71 billion). BGI ended 2008 with $1.5 trillion of assets under management.

Last month, FT.com's blog, Alphaville, reported that Barclays was in "detailed discussions" with a consortium buyer to sell BGI for about 5 billion (see The MFWire, 02/19/09). After that Alphaville item surfaced, an unnamed source told Reuters that the bank was not looking to sell BGI. 

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