Barclays Kenya had a media briefing in Nairobi today, at which CEO, Jeremy Awori, explained the complex sale, next steps for the bank and addressed industry banking developments.
He explained that Barclays PLC would be de-consolidated in Barclays Africa – gradually shedding off their ownership from 62% to about 20%, but that this would not affect Barclays Kenya, whose parent bank, board and decision-making were all done by Barclays Africa, based In South Africa. The Barclays Africa Group is in 12 countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Seychelles, Zambia, Ghana, Mauritius, Mozambique and Absa in South Africa (Absa). He also said that Barclays Egypt and Barclays Zimbabwe were directly owned by Barclays PLC – and that these were non-core assets that they PLC was trying to sell.
In Kenya they are rolling out new strategies, doing stock-broking and agency banking in ways that’s are different from other banks. He was emphatic that Barclays Kenya was not for sale. Barclays Africa had a value estimated at Kshs 500 – 600 billion, if it was even up for sale, and that no local bank had the muscle to buy it.
He said they had slower growth, than other banks in Kenya over the last few years but it was steady, and deliberate with an underlying intent to have a well-governed, and managed bank that was capitalized and with excellent liquidity. He also said that he did not Barclays Kenya buying other banks, even if they were distressed opportunities. Mergers, the world over rarely pay off for investors, and they would rather grow organically, wooing customers from other banks, instead of buying the customers through the banks.
He said what was happening with other banks recognizing losses was not unexpected; some banks had been growing at 30% and shrinking their provisions, when it was natural that provisions would grow along with loans.
$1 = Kshs 100