Bank’s Africa sell-down ‘is on track’

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Di­neo Faku

BAR­CLAYS Africa said on Fri­day that the sell-down by par­ent com­pany, the UK’s Bar­clays Plc, was on track.

Bri­tish Bar­clays Plc cut its stake in Bar­clays Africa Group to 15 per­cent in June, end­ing more than 90 years on the con­ti­nent.

Maria Ramos, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bar­clays Africa, said on Fri­day: “It is pretty much a work in progress. Bar­clays Plc made a 1 per­cent con­tri­bu­tion as part of the sep­a­ra­tion agree­ment and we are work­ing with Bar­clays Plc on what for­mat that takes. We are work­ing Bar­clays to struc­ture an em­pow­er­ment deal that meets all the re­quire­ments. Along­side the em­pow­er­ment deal, we want to es­tab­lish an em­ployee share scheme.”

Bar­clays Plc sold 12.2 per­cent and 33.7 per­cent of the group’s shares last May and June 1 this year, re­spec­tively. Bar­clays Plc also sold 7 per­cent of the 33.7 per­cent shares to the Pub­lic In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (PIC).

The trans­fer was now pend­ing reg­u­la­tory ap­provals for the PIC in Kenya, Mau­ri­tius and the Sey­chelles, Ramos said.

Ear­lier this month, Bar­clays Africa sub­sidiary, Absa, filed for an ur­gent in­ter­dict against Black First, Land First (BLF) and its leader, Andile Mngxi­tama, in­di­cat­ing the BLF can­not il­le­gally protest or tres­pass on Absa-owned prop­er­ties, in­clud­ing ATMs.

Re­spected

Ramos said this was an in­ter­est­ing time and pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions should be re­spected: “Of those in­sti­tu­tions, the pub­lic pro­tec­tor is one we have to re­spect.

“It’s a Chap­ter 9 in­sti­tu­tion. I would also say that the con­se­quen­tial im­pact of the protests has taken a huge amount of time.

“The time we spend at busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tions, we have to en­gage. This is an im­por­tant time in our coun­try.”

The BLF had called for a shut­down of Absa branches na­tion­ally so as to get it to pay back money it had claimed stolen from the SA Re­serve Bank.

Pub­lic pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane made a U-turn af­ter or­der­ing Absa must pay back a bailout of R1.125 bil­lion by the SA Re­serve Bank to Bankorp.

Absa pre­vi­ously slammed the re­port as ir­ra­tional.

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