A key Barclays investor which backed CEO Jes Staley has cut its entire stake in a major blow to the lender

Barclays' CEO Jes Staley arrives at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain January 11, 2018.

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Barclays’ CEO Jes Staley arrives at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain January 11, 2018.
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REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

  • One of Barclays’ largest investors, US hedge fund Tiger Global, has sold its entire holding in the bank.
  • It is a major blow to the lender as it bids to turnaround its performance in its investment banking division.
  • Tiger Global had been a major backer of CEO Jes Staley, but the move points to a weaker sentiment in the lender.

One of the largest shareholders in Barclays has cut its stake in the lender during a crucial period for the bank.

Tiger Global, a hedge fund, had held a top 10 stake in Barclays but has since cut its entire holding, according to the Financial Times.

It’s a major blow to Barclays CEO Jes Staley who had received backing for his plan to reinvigorate the lender’s investment banking operations and focus on the UK retail sector from the fund.

The multibillion dollar fund had been reducing its stake since last summer and has now entirely offloaded its shareholding during a tricky period for Barclays as it fights off a challenge from activist investor Edward Bramson.

Staley’s plan for the lender was well received initially with Barclays’ share price touching £2.17 ($2.80) last March but its share price stands at £1.59 as of 9.40 a.m in London – down 0.5%.

Tiger spent more than $1 billion building up a roughly 2.5% stake in Barclays due to its sizeable presence on Wall Street. Part of the decision to build the stake was the belief that the bank would likely see a boost from rising US interest rates and the corporate tax cuts last year.

Barclays recently transferred billions in assets to Dublin and has spent large sums preparing for Brexit.