Barclays shares rally on potential exit from Africa

Barclays (Picture: AFP)
Barclays (Picture: AFP)

London - Shares in Barclays rallied Monday after the British bank said it was evaluating options over its African division, on the eve of the group's annual results.

Barclays stock rebounded 1.74% to close at 172.05 pence on London's FTSE 100 index, which finished 0.02% higher at 6 097.09 points.

"Barclays notes the recent press speculation regarding a potential sale of its shareholding in Barclays Africa Group Limited (BAGL)," it said in a brief statement.

"The board continues to evaluate its strategic options in relation to its BAGL shareholding and expects to update the market at the time of its 2015 full year results announcement on 1 March 2016."

Several media outlets reported that Barclays could sell its 62.3% stake in BAGL in an overhaul spearheaded by chief executive Jes Staley.

BAGL stressed in a separate statement that it "remained committed" to Africa.

"We continue to be optimistic about our prospects in Africa, where we have a strong franchise with assets of over R1trn ($62bn)," said chief executive Maria Ramos.

"We are deeply committed to the success of our continent. Our destiny is in Africa."

Barclays Africa shares, however, tumbled 6.1 percent in Johannesburg to finish at 136 rand.

The group has more than 12 million customers across 12 nations in Africa.

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