HARARE – British lender Barclays Plc on Thursday sealed disposal of its local unit to Malawi’s FMB Capital Holdings (FMBCH).
Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe (BBZ) said completion of this transaction follows compliance with all statutory and regulatory requirements.
The move resulted in FMBCH acquiring a 42 percent shareholding in BBZ with Barclays Plc retaining a 10 percent stake — employees hold 15 percent through an Employee Share Ownership Trust and the remaining 33 percent are listed on the local stock exchange.
Despite the change of ownership both FMBCH and Barclays have stressed that it is ‘‘business as usual’’ with no immediate changes anticipated to its service offering and network.
For the first 12 months after conclusion of the deal, the bank will continue to operate under the Barclays brand with the FMBCH brand being introduced over a subsequent two-year period.
“The completion of this transaction marks an important juncture in the history of Barclays Bank Zimbabwe,” the bank’s chairperson Antony Mandiwanza said.
“It is testament to the successful franchise that the institution has become, particularly since dollarisation and in the current challenging macroeconomic environment, as evidenced by our 2017 half year results,” he added.
This transaction follows FMB’s recent acquisition of Opportunity International Group’s Malawi operations, Opportunity International Bank Malawi (OIBM).
FMB is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange and has two wholly-owned subsidiaries incorporated in Malawi:
The Leasing and Finance Company of Malawi Limited, a licensed financial institution engaged in deposit taking and asset finance, and FMB Capital Markets Limited, a licensed portfolio manager.
The group also has interests in Capital Bank Limited in Mozambique and Botswana, and First Capital Bank Limited in Zambia with total assets of $496 million by end of June.
This transaction will be the FMBCH’s first operation in Zimbabwe.
FMBCH has a conservative banking philosophy with safeguarding of depositor funds being at its core.
This is evidenced by its high levels of liquidity, strong capital adequacy and conservative lending policy. For instance, the group’s liquidity position and capital adequacy has consistently remained above 55 percent and 20 percent for the past five years and its NPLs were at 2.7 percent as at December 31, 2016 despite adverse market conditions.
FMB chairperson Hitesh Anadkat said this transaction marks a significant milestone in the group’s steps to becoming a truly African bank offering financial solutions to the region.
“We share many of the same values as our colleagues at Barclays and we will continue to create meaningful value for all our stakeholders — customers, employees, investors and the Zimbabwean community at large,” he said.
Anadkat noted that the regional banking group has “a strong track record which demonstrates prudent financial management, sound operating platforms as well as the ability to respond to market opportunities with relevant product offerings that meet customer demand”.