Barclays has announced the sale of more than £2bn worth of shares in its Africa business, cutting its stake by more than expected.
The bank announced the placing of 286m Barclays Africa Group Limited (BAGL) shares this morning to reduce its stake by 33.7 per cent to 16.4 per cent.
Barclays said it expected gross proceeds of £2.2bn from the sale, which was larger than anticipated.
The firm yesterday announced the placing of a smaller number of shares, 187m, or a 22 per cent stake, after gaining the necessary regulatory approvals.
Chief executive Jes Staley said then: “Regulatory approval for the separation of Barclays and Barclays Africa is an important step forward and allows us to move closer to our goal of reducing our shareholding in Barclays Africa to the point where we can achieve regulatory deconsolidation.
“It represents a key milestone in the execution of our strategy and the restructuring of Barclays.”
Barclays announced plans last year to cut its BAGL stake down to below 20 per cent.
The bank is aiming to focus its efforts on higher-growth areas.
Commenting on the news, Caroline Belcher, Cavendish Corporate Finance’s joint head of financial services, said the sale “further buries the legacy of former chief executive Bob Diamond, as Staley pushes towards a more streamlined operation”.
“Barclays offloading of its Africa business is a further step in CEO Jes Staley’s plans to restructure the bank as he shifts its focus to investment banking,” she said.
“Since taking the helm of the lender 18 months ago, Staley has been shrinking back Barclay’s geographic reach to concentrate on London and New York.”