Barclays Returns to South Africa

Published on 10th May 2005

Britain\'s Barclays agreed a $5.5 billion deal for control of lender Absa on Monday, marking its return to South African retail banking and the biggest direct foreign investment in the country.

The UK bank\'s long-awaited announcement is a major vote of confidence in the South African economy more than a decade after the demise of the apartheid regime and 19 years after Barclays\' forced exit from the country.

Britain\'s third-biggest bank will pay 33 billion rand ($5.5 billion) in cash for 60 percent of Absa, South Africa\'s biggest retail lender, to boost its non-UK profits. After eight months of talks, Barclays is offering 82.5 rand a share and Absa will pay its shareholders a dividend of 2 rand a share.


Here are some key facts about South Africa\'s top four banks.




Total assets: 616 billion rand ($103.2 billion)


Revenues: 35.21 billion rand


Market capitalization: 88.14 billion rand


Employees: 39,080


Price to earnings ratio, normalized: 11.07


African operations (outside South Africa): 16 countries





Total assets: 424.8 billion rand


Revenues: 22.41 billion rand


Market capitalization: 75.85 billion rand


Employees: 35,800


Price to earnings ratio, normalized: 15.2


African operations: Seven countries





Total assets: 313.9 billion rand


Revenues: 28.9 billion rand Market capitalization: 52.41 billion rand


Employees: 32,356


Price to earnings ratio, normalized: 11.3


African operations: Six countries





Total assets: 306.85 billion rand


Revenues: 23.83 billion rand


Market capitalization: 30.31 billion rand


Employees: 21,103


Price to earnings ratio, normalized: 17.1


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