HARARE, June 2 ( The Source) — Barclays Bank PLC says the sale of its majority shareholding in its local unit to Malawi’s First Merchant Bank (FMB) will reduce its risk weighted assets by £292m ($376 million).
The British bank also said that the sale of the unit will likely go through in the third quarter of the year, subject to regulatory approvals.
It did not announce the selling price but Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe was valued at $73,2 million on the local stock exchange as at close of business on Thursday.
“The transaction will be effected by the sale by Barclays Bank PLC of shares in Afcarme Zimbabwe Holdings (Pvt) Limited, which is a holding company of BBZ,” it said in a statement on Friday.
Prior to the transaction, Afcarme Zimbabwe Holdings (Pvt) Limited held 68 percent shareholding in Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe.
The transaction will result in all 700 employees, 25 retail branches and five corporate service centres being transferred to FMB.
The bank is almost done with winding up all its non-core operations as part of a broader exit from Africa to refocus on the United States and Britain, ending 105 years as a major presence in the southern African country.
FMB officials said the Malawi-listed bank, which has operations in Botswana, Mozambique, and Zambia, would own 42 percent of BBZ, while Barclays Plc will retain 10 percent and workers getting the remaining 15 percent.
Barclays cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15 percent on Thursday by selling off shares worth $2.83 billion.