Barclays still 'keen' on mergers

4 October 2007

It is thought Barclays are still keen on mergers and acquisitions despite the fact that they look to have lost out on a bid for ABN Amro to an RBS consortium.

Analysts are predicting that Barclays will look for other deals, Simon Maughan, from MF Global, told Reuters: "It (ABN) was a big transformational deal and that's not going to be forgotten ... the suspicion will lie that they'll be looking for something else."

When the ABN bidding began there was a view that Barclays would be vulnerable should their bid for the Dutch bank fail but due to the credit crisis and a shortage of cash the bank should be safe.

Standard Chartered has been a target for Barclays in the past and analysts believe it would be a good investment but it would be costly and open the door to rivals who could bid against the bank, much like the ABN deal.

One banker told Reuters: "One does not make a 70 billion euro bid and not send the message they want a big acquisition".

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