Johannesburg — BARCLAYS Africa Group has officially been renamed Absa Group.
It has started trading under its new name and share code (ABG) on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
The name change, according to executives, marks the start of a new era for the group as a standalone African group with a new brand design fit for a forward-looking business in a digital age.
The new Absa Group has a presence in 12 African countries and plans to open international offices in the United Kingdom and the United States.
"Our new name and brand are an expression of our new purpose and strategic direction, which commits us to growing in Africa," Absa Group Limited Chief Executive Officer Maria Ramos said.
"We are rallying around a shared sense of purpose and identity while celebrating our diversity," she said.
Absa Group launched a new growth strategy on March 2018 as it separates from Barclays PLC.
The strategy prioritises cultural transformation as well as restoring leadership position in the group's core business areas, and developing pioneering propositions for customers and clients.
The company said the new Absa brand design is an expression of the group's new purpose, "bringing your Possibility to Life."
The rollout of the new Absa brand design in South Africa will be completed in 2019.
The new Absa brand will also be rolled out to Absa Group's Barclays banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia by mid-2020, subject to approvals including from regulators in those countries.
Ramos said they aimed to build the brand as a bank that Africa's people could be proud of, "a truly independent African bank with global scalability."
"A single brand will enable us to unite behind a single identity, purpose and strategy; we are excited by the enormous opportunity we have to create a bank that Africa can be proud of," she said.
With an estimated value of R18,9 billion (about US$1,5 billion), Absa has been named the fourth most valuable brand in South Africa.