Barclays ‘will not pull out of Tanzania’

Barclays Bank Tanzania has said its parent company is not pulling out of Tanzania and Africa despite a move to reduce its stake in Barclays Africa Group.

The bank said that London based Barclays Plc will sell down its 62.3 per cent stake in Barclays Africa to “a non-controlling level” in the next two to three years.

Barclays Tanzania Managing Director Kihara Maina (pictured) told journalists that the bank operations in Africa would remain intact and maintain the same expansion strategy.

“We are remaining fully committed to the Tanzania market strategy. Nothing changes. The shareholding structure changes but our strategies will not,” Mr Maina said.

The MD was clarifying some issues after a tele-conference between journalists and Barclays Africa Chief Executive Officer Maria Ramos in South Africa.

Mr Maina said the changes were primarily due to change of regulation and requirement of regulators in UK and US, that the bank has to reduce its stake in Barclays-Africa. He said: “There are lots of speculations regarding the issue.

We delay the announcement since we are a listed company in various exchanges globally and we intended to make the announcement while showing our (2015) results.” Barclays Africa owned Barclays Tanzania 100 per cent and at the moment the Tanzania franchise has 80,000 customers with 500 members of staff.

“Nothing changes and I assure our customers their monies are safe,” Mr Maina said adding that the bank is well capitalized and with liquidity and focusing on making it one of the best banks in the country.

Ms Ramos said last year the group pre-provision profit increased 8.0 per cent to rand 29.5bn while headline earnings grew 17 per cent to R2.3bn. “We delivered solid results, demonstrating that our strategy is working.

Our ambition to be Africa’s leading bank remains unchanged,” Ms Ramos said. On share selling she said: “We will now actively engage with Barclays Plc and our regulators to ensure this process has an appropriate and satisfactory outcome for all our stakeholders.”

Barclays-Africa also bought out First Assurance Kenya and expands it Wealth, Investment Management and Insurance (WIMI) and launched Barclays Life Assurance Kenya. The move enables the bank to control its stake in First Assurance Tanzania.

In 2013, South African’s ABSA acquired the majority stake of Barclays Plc to create Barclays Africa Group. To date the group serves more than 12 million customers, handled by a 42,000-strong workforce in 12 countries with independent boards.

The group is listed on Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Barclays Africa shares fell as much as 6.9 per cent in early trade on Tuesday following the annoucement
Source: Daily News, reported by Abduel Elinaza from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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