Bank of Ghana, Other Central Banks Approve Absa-Barclays Merger

Bank of Ghana (BoG) has approved Absa and Barclays Africa's merger. We also learnt similar negotiations which were ongoing in 8 other African countries with Barclays operations have also been approved by their central banks. Absa wants to purchase 100% of Barclays Africa Limited for over $186 million. The new group will involve the combination of Barclays� interests in Ghana, Botswana, Kenya, among others with Barclays Bank PLC remaining as the majority shareholder of the combined African operations. In terms of the deal, Absa Group Limited will alter its name to Barclays Africa Group on second August this year. Absa�s brand will however be still used in South Africa and the Barclays brand will stay in other countries. Barclays will have a 62.3 percent shareholding in Barclays Africa. Bank Kenya and Barclays Bank Botswana will still be quoted on their own bourses in their countries. Egypt and Zimbabwe have not been included in this deal. However, they continue to be a crucial part of Absa�s African business. Chief Executive of Barclays Africa and also Group head for strategy Kennedy Bungani speaking to Citi Business News early on said the bank will continue to operate under the Brand name Barclays Africa, after its combination with Absa by the end of this year. �We will continue to brand all of our businesses in Africa, outside of Africa under the Barclays banner in south Africa, we have a very strong ABSA retail banking brand; for the last six years, the ABSA retail brand has been number one not just industry competitive; so it will not be wise for us to put money down the drain and do away with a winning brand in that client segment of retail,� said Kennedy Bungani.