Barclays Africa Group advised its shareholders in a note on Thursday of its intention to change its name from Barclays Africa Group Limited to Absa Group Limited, subject to regulatory and shareholders’ approval.
The name change will be effective from 30 May 2018, the bank said.
In June last year, Barclays Africa Group announced that it had agreed terms for operational separation with UK-based Barclays PLC, after the latter said it would reduce its shareholding in Barclays Africa.
UK-based Barclays PLC announced on 1 March 2016 that it intended to sell the majority of its shareholding in Barclays Africa over a period of two to three years.
Also on Thursday, the bank reported a 4% rise in profit for the year ended December 2017. Income grew to R73.3 billion, from R72.4 billion in 2016.
Additional salient features:
- Normalised diluted Headline earnings per share (HEPS) grew 4% to 1 837.7 cents, while diluted IFRS HEPS including R1.9 billion of separation costs decreased 4% to 1 716.5 cents.
- Declared a 4% higher full year dividend per share (DPS) of 1070 cents.
- South Africa Banking headline earnings grew 4% to R12.2 billion, Rest of Africa Banking rose 7% to R3.0 billion and Wealth, Investment Management and Insurance (WIMI) decreased 8% to R1.2 billion.
- Normalised return on equity (RoE) declined slightly to 16.4% and return on assets (RoA) improved to 1.38%.
- Normalised revenue grew 1% to R72.9 billion and operating expenses rose 4% to R41.4 billion.
- On a constant currency basis normalised revenue grew 3% and diluted HEPS increased 7%.
- Normalised pre-provision profit declined 3% to R31.5 billion.
- Credit impairments fell 20% to R7 billion, resulting in a 0.87% credit loss ratio from 1.08%.
- Normalised net asset value (NAV) per share rose 5% to 11 550 cents.
Looking ahead, chief executive, Maria Ramos said: “In South Africa we expect a modest improvement in real GDP growth to 1.4% in 2018, with upside potential from fixed investment, a rebound in confidence and strong global growth, although fiscal consolidation remains a concern and there is downside risk for credit ratings.
“We believe the South African Reserve Bank will keep interest rates on hold for some time.
“Our latest forecast indicates slightly better GDP growth of 5.8% in our markets in the rest of Africa, with further monetary policy easing in a number of countries. At current exchange rates the rand could weigh on our rest of Africa reported growth again in 2018.”