A Mideast group is selling its Smith Barney stake.

The largest shareholder of Smith Barney Inc.--a group of wealthy Mideast investors--has put up for sale its 22% stake in the closely held holding company for Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. A spokesman for the securities firm said he didn't know the circumstances surrounding the sale or the amount sought by the group. However, the Wall Street Journal quoted unidentified investment banking sources as saying the investors, pressed by the Persian Gulf's faltering economy, were seeking at least $160 million. The group, represented by Lama Holding Co. of Delaware, includes 33 investors from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain.

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