Africa economy: Barclay's decision to disinvest in Africa not political; Barclays Africa CEO
02 March 2016, 23:00
Johannesburg - British bank Barclays' decision
to disinvest in Barclays Africa has nothing to do with the political situation
in South Africa, Barclays Africa CEO Maria Ramos said on Tuesday.
said the withdrawal was triggered by the global regulatory factors.
on Tuesday announced its intention to sell down their 62.3 percent stake in
Barclays Africa over 2-3 years.
to Ramos, the current global environment makes it almost difficulty to spread
wings to other countries and establish subsidiaries.
has) nothing to do with any conspiracy and nothing to do with the economic
environment whether it's in South Africa or anywhere across our continent. This
decision has been driven by the regulatory environment and the regulatory
bid," Ramose told a private Johannesburg-based radio station, Talk-radio
are deeply committed to the communities in which we live and work and today,
when we announced our financial results I also said we will invest 1.4 billion
rand (about 89 million U.S. dollars) in education and skills development across
Africa over the next three years," Ramos also said in a statement.
Also read: Barclays
Pls. plans to sell down stake in Barclays Africa Group
commitment extends to the way we serve our customers. Nothing in today's
announcements will make us deviate or change our course. We at Barclays Africa
are neither exiting our operations in South Africa nor the rest of our African
markets," she said.
exit is one of the biggest withdrawals in South Africa since the 1980s. This is
the second planned exit from Africa in 30 years, which will affect banks like
Absa. In 2013, Barclays Africa was established as a leading African bank when
12 banks across the continent were brought together.
some experts blame South African President Jacob Zuma for the unceremoniously
firing of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene last December.
Monday morning, Barclays Africa shares took a knock on the Johannesburg Stock
Exchange (JSE), losing as much as 6.8 percent.
on Tuesday, Absa Bank, Barclays Africa Group's South African subsidiary, said
on Twitter, "Our future as Barclays Africa is bright and our ambition to
be Africa's leading bank remains unchanged".
(Absa bank customers) will not be impacted in any way. Absa is here to stay.
Our financial results show solid growth. We will continue serving you as
always," the bank said.
Borain, an adviser to BNP Paribas Securities South Africa, told Xinhua in
telephone interview that "it is unfortunate that the country (South
Africa) has experienced a significant withdrawal of capital out of the
exit is an indication of a vote of no confidence in the country's sluggish
economic growth," he added.
political and economic situation in the country does not attract any meaningful
investor, hence the disinvestment by Barclays,"said Lumkile Mondi, a
senior lecturer at the school of economic and business sciences at the
University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
volatility of the rand, (which dropped 25 percent against the dollar in 2015),
has negatively impacted the value of Barclays' investment," Mondi said.
has exited Africa at a time when 80 percent of Barclays Africa Group Ltd.'s
profits come from South Africa. But the volatility of the rand has lost 35
percent of its value against the dollar since the start of 2014.
CEO Jes Staley said on Tuesday that he was simplifying the structure of the
bank, focusing on its core UK and U.S. business and building a Trans-Atlantic bank.
seems that Barclays was divesting of non-core assets already, but the decision
to exit Africa may have been accelerated after that event as well as the risks
of a ratings downgrade of South Africa," he said.
Chairman of Barclays Africa Group Limited (BAGL), Wendy Lucas-Bull said she was
stepping down from the Barclays Plc and Barclays Bank Plc boards with immediate
is the majority (in some cases sole) shareholder of the operations in South
Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Ghana, Zambia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles,
Uganda and Tanzania.