Barclays considers scaling back in Africa —- FT

LAGOS, Nigeria, Capital Markets in Africa — New Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley is considering selling some or all of the British bank’s African operations as part of his strategic review, the Financial Times said.

Staley has raised questions about the strategic fit of the large African business with the rest of Barclays, but no decision has been taken yet, the FT said on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Barclays declined to comment.

Staley, who took over as CEO two weeks ago, is expected to review all parts of Barclays’ businesses and outline his plans around the time of annual results on 1st of March 2016.

Barclays has been present in Africa for more than 100 years and has said the continent offers good growth options, despite lacklustre returns in recent years.

The Africa business had 36 billion pounds of assets on a risk-adjusted basis and made a profit of 791 million pounds in the first nine months of this year, or 13 percent of the bank’s core profits.

The FT said Staley’s review came after investor confidence in South Africa was shaken by President Jacob Zuma’s decision to change his finance minister twice in less than a week at a time when the economy is under severe stress.

Source: Reuters African Online Report Business News

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