Barclays commits future to Kenya, dismisses reports


Following on the heels of Moodys re-affirming Kenya for B1 rating, Barclays issued a statement to the rumour around the big bank closing shop in Africa.

BARCLAYS Bank on Friday reaffirmed its presence in Kenya, dismissing reports that its mother company, Barclays PLC of London, was planning to close down operations in Africa.

Recent reports have indicated that Barclays PLC – the majority shareholder in Barclays Africa – was keen on selling its 62.3 per cent of its stake.

Barclays Kenya, which marked 100 years of operations in the country, dismissed the claims as “media speculations”, reassuring its customers and stakeholders of its continued existence.

“It was media speculation that Barclays was moving out of Africa. There was no formal statement from Barclays,” managing director Jeremy Awori said, after leading the lender in signing an investment pledge for the next century.

“Barclays is committed to be in Kenya. We have a great franchise, we have a great business (and) when you look at the actions that we are taking, it doesn’t suggest that it is a business in retreat.”

The bank said it will be announcing new investments in the coming weeks.

“What I would simply say to all of our customers and stakeholders who are worried is that Barclays is continuing with its strategy,” Awori said, after launching the bank’s centennial celebrations presided over by Central Bank of Kenya governor Patrick Njoroge, at its Nairobi headquarters.

Barclays, which holds $55.5 billion (Sh5.649 trillion) worth of assets in the continent, has been linked with withdrawal from Africa amid a market slump, occasioned by falling price of commodities especially minerals.

This include its head office host country of South Africa, whose economy is dependent on mineral export (commodity business), currently said to be under performing, coupled by political instability.

The Star

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