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Qatar to sell around $644 million shares in Barclays

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Adds background on Qatar's investment, Barclays' strategy paragraphs 2-4, 6-10

By Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro and Juby Babu

Dec 4 (Reuters) -Qatar Holding is looking to sell around 510 million pounds ($643.72 million) of shares in Barclays BARC.L, one of the banks acting on the deal said on Monday, cutting back on its crisis-era investment in the British bank.

The deal is set to price at 141 pence per share, or a discount of about 1.4% to Barclays' closing share price on Monday.

The share sale comes as Barclays is striving to revive its share price, which has halved since Qatar first invested in 2008.

Barclays declined a request for comment.

Under CEO C. S. Venkatakrishnan, Barclays is mulling strategic initiatives to help turn around the lender's fortunes.

Qatar became Barclays' largest shareholder during the 2008 financial crisis when it injected 4 billion pounds into the British bank in a controversial deal that helped avert a taxpayer bailout.

Qatar has previously cashed in on warrants acquired through the capital injection.

Barclays this year has been working on plans to save as much as 1 billion pounds, which could involve cutting as many as 2,000 jobs, mainly in its back office, Reuters reported last month.

It is also selling its consumer finance unit in Germany and considering selling a stake in its domestic merchant services business, Reuters previously reported.

Barclays has also expressed interest in acquiring Tesco's banking business.

($1 = 0.7923 pounds)

Reporting by Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro in London and Juby Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Jane Merriman and Josie Kao


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