Barclays chief points to emerging markets

The head of British bank Barclays PLC, which has announced a doubling of net profit in its 2009 to $14.71 billion, says emerging markets like Russia have played a key part in the turnaround.

The bottom line was driven sharply higher from its $7.35 billion net result in 2008 with the sale of its asset management arm, Barclays Global Investor, to BlackRock, despite the economic downturn hitting retail and commercial operations in Western Europe.

CEO Robert Diamond says further expansion into key new markets has helped the bank stay profitable, and added that Barclays is looking to increase its investment in Russia.

“One of our biggest initiatives going forward is to continue to invest into our businesses, not just in Asia and in places like China, India and Korea, Russia is a key part of that as well. We had a good start last year with the acquisition of a small bank, we have a very strong ‘commodities and investment banking’ business and we will continue to invest into that business.”