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Barclays Closes Shipping Unit Amid Business Review as Rates Fall

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc is closing a shipping unit amid a companywide review of its businesses and slumping freight rates.

The London-based bank will close Pendle Shipping, it said in an e-mailed statement today. Five tankers carrying refined fuels will end their charters with the company, industry newspaper TradeWinds reported. Jon Laycock, a spokesman for Barclays, declined to say how many ships the company controlled.

“Barclays confirms it has completed a strategic review of Pendle Shipping and is looking to exit from the market,” the bank said in an e-mailed statement today. “We continuously review and evaluate our portfolio businesses so as to maximize the performance of our overall business.”

Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins, who succeeded Robert Diamond in August following the London interbank offered rate-rigging scandal, is reviewing which parts of the company will be sold or shrunk as the bank seeks to boost profitability and overhaul its culture. Britain’s second-biggest lender paid a record 290 million-pound ($471 million) fine in June for manipulating Libor. Daily earnings for product tankers on the benchmark trade route for oil products tankers dropped 65 percent this year to $7,784, according to the Baltic Exchange, the London-based publisher of shipping costs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Isaac Arnsdorf in London at iarnsdorf@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net

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