A US court has ruled that Barclays (LON:BARC) is not liable to investors who bought its US-listed stock in the run-up to the financial crisis, and subsequently accused the UK lender of hiding its risky debt exposure and a capital shortfall, Reuters has reported. The decision comes after the UK Serious Fraud Office recently failed to reinstate charges against the blue-chip group over its Qatar fundraising during the financial crisis, the blue-chip lender.
Barclays’ share price has fallen into the red in London in today’s session, having given up 1.89 percent to 162.94p as of 10:22 GMT, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.59 percent lower at 6,959.30 points. The group’s shares have given up nearly 14 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 5.8-percent dip in the Footsie.
US court dismisses charges
Reuters reported last night that the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld the dismissal of claims against Barclays and underwriters led by Citigroup over the UK lender’s sale of $2.5 billion of American depositary shares in April 2008. The FTSE 100 group, whose shares had fallen 80 percent by the following March, was accused of concealing £21.6 billion of mortgage-backed securities and other risky assets insured by monoline insurers, and a March 2008 ‘directive’ by the UK Financial Services Authority requiring it to raise more equity capital.
The court ruled that while Barclays might have had a duty to disclose its monoline exposure, it had ‘resoundingly’ showed that its omission had little or no impact on its share price.
Analysts on blue-chip lender
Credit Suisse, which sees Barclays as a ‘buy,’ set a price target of 210p on the shares this month. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 226.12p.