Barclays sells Egyptian business to Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank


Barclays has completed the sale of its Egyptian business to Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank as part of its shift towards focusing on the US and Britain, reports The Guardian.

The sale will mean a cut of about £2bn in Barclays’ risk-weighted assets, boosting the bank’s core capital ratio by about 0.1 per cent.

Barclays did not give a price for the transaction, although sources previously told Reuters they valued the business at about $400m (£313m).

The London-based lender is looking to sell its African operations as part of a plan by the chief executive, Jes Staley, to simplify its structure and improve shareholder returns.

However, attempts to sell the African businesses as one have come up against difficulties, including the disparate nature of the local units, the biggest of which is Barclays Africa Group, mainly made up of former South African bank Absa.

Barclays successfully sold 12 per cent of its holding in the South African bank in May, but talks to sell a bigger holding have so far not yielded a deal.

Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond’s bid to buy Barclays Africa Group as part of a consortium was dealt a blow by the withdrawal of Carlyle Group earlier this year.

Attijariwafa’s interest was reported in March, as the Moroccan lender’s general manager told Reuters he planned to expand in Egypt.

Barclays shares closed up 0.6 per cent at 169p, in line with an increase in the broader Stoxx European banks index.