An announcement that Barclays will exit from 12 African countries has had a bit of reaction:
- Barclays Kenya which just had its 100 years celebration in Kenya, had this statement which mirrors that released in many of the countries where Barclays is, to reassure customers.
- Citi Research had two statements, one of which noted that the sale is meant to de-consolidate for both accounting and regulatory purposes. The time period given is 2 to 3 years. Also that (1) they question the rationale behind the disposal given that Africa-attributable profit had higher growth compared to the core bank and was double that of the investment bank (2) they don’t believe that there are buyers ready & waiting (3) regulatory approval is not guaranteed .
Still it’s been a decade of stagnation of the bank that was number one in Kenya, 10 years ago, but which has alternately shrunk and held back, while local competing banks have expanded, leaving Barclays hanging on in the top 5, and now with half the asset size and profits of market leader, KCB.