Investors weary of rights issues

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The Independent Online

Some of the City biggest institutional fund managers are said to be furious at the "opportunistic rights issues" tabled by Sainsbury's chief exectuive, Justine King, and pub group Marstons last week.

British companies have raised more than £30bn since the turn of the year with the Square Mile's biggest firms backing numerous cash calls in recent weeks. However, the glut is taking its toll with the £1bn cash calls by Sainsbury, Marstons and GKN testing investor patience.

One leading institutional investor said: "As institutions we've backed the lot this year without so much as a squeak. We've helped these companies out of some pretty dreadful problems. But these two rights issues take the piss – Marston's in particular. Many of us think that enough is enough and we've told the banks as much."

However, the summer is likely to see further cash calls from the likes of Rio Tinto, Debenhams and Great Portland Estates. Institutions are also furious at the banks' perceived profiteering, scooping nearly £2bn in rights issue fees.