Barclays Africa Group Ltd shareholders have approved group’s proposed change of name to Absa Group Limited by July 2018, setting in motion the start of one of the largest re-brand projects in Africa at this time.
Through an announcement on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), Barclays Bank Botswana, part of the Barclays Africa Group said that as part of the process, the new name must be registered by South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.
“In accordance with the timetable that we have shared with our shareholders, the name change is expected to be effective on 11 July 2018,” the bank announced.
The group’s share code on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) will change from BGA to ABG on 11 July 2018. However, the bank said the group’s name change will not affect functionality of Absa or Barclays products and services across the continent.
The group’s Barclays-branded banks, including Barclays Bank Botswana, will continue to trade as ‘Barclays’ even after the group name changes to Absa in July 2018.
Barclays Bank Botswana will only be re-branded at a later stage, subject to regulatory approvals. Following the sell-down by Barclays PLC of its majority shareholding in Barclays Africa Group to a minority position in 2017, the separation of the two companies is on track and proceeding according to the agreed three-year plan. As part of the separation agreement, Barclays Africa Group will cease using the Barclays brand in Africa in 2020.”
Barclays Africa Group CEO Maria Ramos said, “Our overriding goal is to become a banking group of which Africa can be proud, a forward-looking African business that recognizes our African heritage, rooted in Africa, with global reach. We have a clear and undiluted ambition to double our market share of African banking revenues to 12 percent.”
Further, Ramos said growth has to be an essential part of the Absa DNA, the driver behind every action and a core facet of ambition for this business. “Sustainable growth is fundamentally about culture. We are building our culture around a shared sense of purpose and identity, a celebration of our diversity and inclusion, a passion for growth- helping our colleagues bring their possibility to life.”
A priority for Barclays Africa is to restore leading positions in core business areas, while expanding into new markets, enabling the group to deliver double-digit growth. The Group expects to expand its corporate and investment banking unit to certain international jurisdictions, with offices set to open in London and later in New York, trading as Absa Securities, and offering opportunities for clients to financial markets offshore, and providing access to corporates and institutions seeking to invest in Africa.
As an independent and stand-alone business, Barclays Africa says it will have the agility, the means and the risk appetite to strive for growth. “This is an exciting time for us. The sell-down has provided us with the headroom to reinvigorate our company while building on the proud heritage Barclays has in Africa. We will work hard to deliver on our new strategy and to build our reputation as a bold, trusted, innovative and customer-focused brand.”
Barclays Africa group is building a scalable, digitally led business, passionate about innovation. South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) controls Barclays Bank of Botswana indirectly, while 32.2 percent remaining shares are held by a diverse group of institutional investors and individuals, mostly pension funds.