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Learning English - Words in the News
31 October, 2008 - Published 12:23 GMT
Middle East money for Barclays
Barclays bank

The British bank, Barclays, says it's raising more than $12 bn from international investors - mainly from the royal families of Qatar and Abu Dhabi. This would allow Barclays to rescue its finances without help from the British government. Mark Gregory reports:

Listen to the story

Barclays was one of four big British banks offered help by the British government to prop up its finances. Unlike its rivals, it turned the money down. Instead it has turned to investors in the Middle East - notably the royal families of two Gulf states, Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

It's a complex deal that will result in a single member of the Abu Dhabi ruling family owning sixteen percent of Barclays' shares. Middle East money comes with fewer strings attached and less humiliation than going cap in hand to the British authorities.

Mark Gregory, BBC

Listen to the words

to prop up
to give support to something, so it can continue to exist in a difficult situation

people or companies competing with others for the same thing or in the same area (here, other banks)

turned the money down
refused to take the money

turned to
appealed for/sought help from

especially, specifically; here, much of it from

a complex deal
here, a financial agreement that involves many factors

a single member of
one person who belongs to

with fewer strings attached
with not so many conditions and/or restrictions

damaging someone's dignity or reputation

going cap in hand to
begging for money from

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