Barclays has continued its series of African disposals, agreeing the sale of its majority stake in Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe (BBZ) to Malawi-listed FMB.
The deal will see a £292m reduction in risk-weighed assets for Barclays, as all of the Zimbabwean bank's 700 employees, 25 retail branches and five corporate centres are acquired by FMB.
It will be the first foray into Zimbabwe for FMB, which has an asset finance division and a portfolio managment division.
The disposal of BBZ follows yesterday's announcement that Barclays would sell down more than £2bn worth of shares in Barclays Africa Group Limited (BAGL), reducing its stake by 33.7 per cent to 16.4 per cent.
Harry Harrison, head of Barclays non-core, said:
I am pleased to say following today’s announcement, all of the operating businesses put into Barclays Non-Core are now either under new ownership or soon will be. We remain focused on closing Barclays Non-Core on 30 June, as part of the group strategy to create a stronger, simpler Barclays.
Commenting on yesterday's BAGL disposals, 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.”