Barclays in talks to combine African operations with Absa
BARCLAYS is in talks about combining the majority of its African operations with its subsidiary, Absa Group, it said on Tuesday.
Barclays said the Barclays units to be combined with Absa were in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and the Indian Ocean. Barclays Bank plc would remain as the majority shareholder of the combined African operations.
This takes forward the One Africa strategy announced last year by Bob Diamond, the former Barclays CEO who resigned over the Libor manipulation scandal.
"The listings of Barclays subsidiaries in Kenya, on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, and in Botswana, on the Botswana Stock Exchange, would be maintained. Only Barclays’ holdings in these listed subsidiaries would be included in the proposed combination," Barclays said on Tuesday.
Absa Group CEO Maria Ramos also heads Barclays Africa, where the group plans to expand via organic growth as well as consider entering virgin territory.
"This proposed combination of the majority of the Barclays Africa businesses with Absa is the next logical step in delivering our ‘One Africa’ strategy, which Barclays announced last year," Ms Ramos said.
She recruited seasoned banker Kennedy Bungane from Standard Bank to manage the One Africa strategy. Mr Bungane joined Absa in May.
Absa has retail units in South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania, as well as insurance businesses in Botswana and Mozambique under Absa Financial Services, and recently launched a new life insurance venture in Zambia.