Barclays Africa to expand insurance business into Ghana

Deputy chief executive David Hodnett told South Africa’s Business Day that the bank was currently looking to buy an insurance unit in Ghana to sit alongside its First Assurance business in Kenya which it acquired in November.

BAGL has also applied for a bank licence in Nigeria, said Hodnett, with the aim becoming one of the top three banks in every country it operates in.

Barclays sale

Last month, Barclays sold a 12.2% stake in its Johannesburg-based subsidiary, as part of its ongoing efforts to extricate itself from the business.

The accelerated bookbuilding saw around 103.6 million shares sold at a price of ZAR126 each, raising around ZAR13.1bn (£603m, $872m, €762m).

Barclays still retains a 50.1% stake in one of Africa’s largest banking groups, which it is looking to sell in order to focus on its core markets in the UK and the US.

Hodnett said a lot of potential buyers were expressing an interest in the business.

“But there is a big difference between expression of interest and an offer that everybody is happy with,” he told the publication.

Consortium of black investors

Following the sale, Africa’s largest state-owned pension fund manager, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) said it was forming a syndicate of black investors to buy a controlling stake in BAGL.

“I don’t want to go public on the details, but the idea should be black investors clubbing together to buy a reasonable share and we will be part of that to create the first black controlled bank,” PIC’s chief executive Dan Matjila told The Financial Times.