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Barclays to announce Absa sale: report

Barclays to announce Absa sale: report

Barclays bank will next week announce the sale of its African business, Absa, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The group currently holds a 62.3% stake in the African group which serves as its foothold onto the continent. Citing people familiar with the matter, FT reported that the group nolonger sees Barclays Africa – known locally as Absa – as core to its strategy.

The Wall Street Journal, first reported that Barclays aimed to sell in Africa. Absa, the paper said, has struggled in recent years, while the weaker rand is also a point for concern, as is the state of the local economy.

“Barclays does not own all of the equity, but it owns 100% of the risk if something goes wrong,” FT cited a source as saying.

Barclay’s stake is worth R78 billion (£3.5 billion) at current market prices. Investment bankers say there are no obvious strategic buyers at this stage, the FT said.

“While we expect the process of selling Barclays Africa Group to prove more difficult than the market currently expects . . . a wholesale exit from Africa would seem to make sense,” Joseph Dickerson, banks analyst at Jefferies, said in a note.

Absa is one of the largest banks in Africa with 45,000 employees and 1,267 branches across 12 countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Uganda.

State-owned investment group, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) said in January that it would be keen to increase its stake in Barclays Africa, should Barclays sell off some of its holdings.

According to a report from BDLive, PIC CEO Daniel Matjila expressed interest in a such a deal speaking to the publication at Davos.

He said it would be “an opportunity to reclaim what we sold”, and that the PIC “would be keen to participate” in a deal if it was put on the table.

In January, the ANC Youth League blamed Absa for the rand weakness, saying that Barclays itself is behind the crash.

The political group said that Barclays has been “excessively and aggressively” selling the local currency for the past few months.

They accused the finance house of ditching South Africa in favour of boosting the economies of their home countries.

More on Absa

Government wants a bigger stake in Absa: report

Barclays is pulling out of Absa: report

Absa revolt as staff threaten to join Malema protest: report

We will shut ‘racist’ Absa down: Malema

ANC Youth League blames Absa for the rand crash


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Join the Conversation (11 comments)
  • Tobs

    oh oh, see what happens when the ANCYL president closes his account…

  • Pseudo

    When the government makes it extremely difficult for foreign companies to operate in our country, it only makes sense that they will start to withdraw.

  • Anton van Niekerk

    “Barclays does not own all of the equity, but it owns 100% of the risk if something goes wrong,” … aka the BEE premium.

  • Davebee

    Did Maria get an early heads up on this? If so I guess she could make a mint out of it if ABSA shares take a nasty knock.

    • Bruce

      She has mentioned numerous times in internal mails (a few weeks a go most recently) that the rumours are false.

  • J F DU TOIT

    I believe Nene-gate contributed to the final decision that was only awaiting confirmation. SA has become an investment risk with the EFF now infiltrating almost every level of the society.

    • 4M

      EFF is right here. I just don’t how the ANC is involved as you say

  • bengine

    I’ll give you 50 bucks … take it or leave it.

  • EarToTheGround

    ” State-owned investment group, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC)
    said in January that it would be keen to increase its stake in Barclays
    Africa, should Barclays sell off some of its holdings. ”

    Ohhhh I bet they would. This government owing a bank …yeah ….. thats gonna be a great success and very beneficial to us all hey. Can you imagine how f@$#$d we will be if this government owned its own bank with OUR money inside it ????

    I do currently have 1 of my accounts with ABSA ….. but not for long !!!

    If Barclays is pulling out …then im following suite, especially knowing that the PIC is keen on grabbing the holdings that will be sold-off !!

    🙂

    • I seem to recall that PIC had a large shareholding in African Bank. We all know where that one ended up.

  • Hennie

    This S.A. government cannot forgive the west for not helping the ANC more, therefore the anti west stance. I hope they will forget the past and do what is in the best interest of S.A. and start making S.A. more attractive for the West to invest in, instead of the west withdrawing their investments. South Africa will be the better for it.

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