Barclays Plc (BCS: Quote,BARC.L) Tuesday announced that it is in talks with its subsidiary Absa Group Ltd., to combine majority of their African operations. The British lender said the decision is in line with their strategy to operate as one bank in Africa.
Commenting on the rationale for the proposed combination, Maria Ramos, chief executive of Absa Group and Barclays Africa said, "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 PLC announced last year."
Absa Group Ltd., the holding company of Absa Bank, is one of South Africa's largest financial services groups offering banking, insurance and wealth management products and services.
According to Barclays, the proposed combination will involve its interests in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and the Indian Ocean, with Barclays Bank Plc remaining the majority shareholder of the combined African operations. The companies believe that the proposed combination will help to leverage significant potential of the businesses.
However, Barclays said there can be no certainty that these discussions will lead to a combination. The proposed combination is not expected to be completed until 2013.
According to the plan, listings of Barclays' units on the Nairobi Securities Exchange in Kenya and on the Botswana Stock Exchange in Botswana would be maintained. Only Barclays holdings in these listed subsidiaries will be included in the proposed combination.
Last month end, Barclays had reported a higher second-quarter profit, reflecting mainly a decline in operating expenses, despite a fall in total income.
In London, Barclays shares are currently trading at 194.3 pence, up 3.4 pence or 1.78 percent, on a volume of 9.88 million shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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