29 February 2016

Africa: Barclays Plays Down Impact of Possible Africa Exit

Barclays Africa Group Ltd said on Monday that any announcement by its London-listed parent company Barclays Plc would not impact the shareholding and ownership of operations in individual African countries.

Barclays Plc said on Sunday its board was evaluating strategic options in relation to its shareholding in its African business. The bank will update the market on its plans for Barclays Africa on Tuesday, it said.

Barclays Africa said it was well capitalised, that it had an independent board and that it would continue to operate as normal.

That comes after a report by the Financial Times on Friday that the bank's chief executive, Jess Staley, had decided to shut operations in Africa and had appointed a subcommittee to study the sale process.

Barclays Africa is the majority and sometimes sole owner of operations in 10 African countries including South Africa and Kenya. Any change in the shareholding of Barclays Africa will not impact the shareholding structure of those individual operations, it said.

"BAGL (Barclays Africa) confirms that any announcement relating to PLC's shareholding in BAGL does not impact the shareholding and ownership of these operations," it said.

Under a deal concluded three years ago, Barclays handed over ownership of eight African businesses to its South African subsidiary in exchange for a 62.3 percent stake in the new Barclays Africa entity.

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