According to Business Day BARCLAYS has taken the first step on the road to selling down its 62% stake in Barclays Africa (Absa), calling an April 28 shareholders’ meeting at which they will vote on the plan.
The London-based group revealed no more details on Tuesday on how, or to whom, it seeks to sell the stake, which it said last month it wanted to reduce to less than 20%, to enable it to de-consolidate the South African banking group for regulatory and accounting purposes.
The decision to sell follows a strategic review of the UK group’s businesses by its new CEO, Jes Staley.
“Barclays faces a regulatory environment where it carries all of the financial responsibility for Barclays Africa and only receives a proportion of the benefits,” says the UK group in a document sent to its shareholders, along with a circular convening the meeting, which will follow its annual general meeting on April 28.
“Changes to regulatory capital standards, as well as the taxation environment, are expected to make continuing consolidation of the business increasingly unattractive,” says the group.
It said Barclays had been in Africa for 100 years and had excellent businesses here and that it was a very difficult decision.