Barclays gets approval to sell shares in African arm


jqrcwxqlchqxm592ef69a31f79 Barclays gets approval to sell shares in African arm

Barclays has received regulatory approval for the sale of its remaining stake in its Barclays Africa Group, a unit of the business said on Tuesday.

South Africa’s minister of finance has approved the deal, ABSA Bank said, paving the way for Barclays to begin selling its remaining 50 per cent stake in Barclays Africa Group.

Johannesburg-based ABSA Bank is the main business inside Barclays Africa Group. Barclays is also selling Barclays Bank Egypt and Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe, which sit outside Barclays Africa Group.

Barclays shares rose as much as 2.5 per cent in London on Wednesday, after Sky News earlier reported the British bank would sell shares in Barclays Africa worth 1.6 billion pounds ($2.1 billion) as soon as yesterday evening.

Barclays said in early 2016 it would sell its 50 per cent stake in Barclays Africa Group as part of a strategy to refocus on the United States and Britain.

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The bank gave itself two to three years to complete the deal and sold 12 per cent into the market last May via an “accelerated bookbuild” process.

Barclays is partly relying on funds raised from the stake sale to meet capital requirements that were identified as a concern by the Bank of England in a November “stress test” aimed at gauging its ability to withstand financial shocks.

The planned sale would take Barclays’ interest in the Barclays Africa from 50 per cent down to 28 per cent, Sky News said.

Shares in Barclays Africa fell 4.5 per cent in Johannesburg. [Reuters] 

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