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Barclays Shares Up on News of Merger Talks

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January 11, 2005|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Shares in Barclays, Britain's third-largest bank, traded higher Monday after a newspaper report that it held merger talks in October and November with San Francisco's Wells Fargo & Co.

Barclays' U.S.-traded shares rose 77 cents to $45.42 on the New York Stock Exchange. Wells Fargo shares slipped 4 cents to $62.13 on the NYSE.

A merger would create a global bank worth more than $100 billion. The report in Britain's Sunday Express was in line with earlier speculation about transatlantic banking deals and suitors for Barclays in particular, said UBS analyst Stephen Andrews.

Previous takeover talk has suggested that Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. might be interested in Barclays.

The paper said Wells and Barclays could resume talks in the coming weeks.

Bank executives declined to comment on the report, although a Wells Fargo spokeswoman said the bank's acquisition strategy, concentrating on U.S. institutions west of the Mississippi River -- hadn't changed.

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