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Barclays may exit Africa

Barclays is said to be preparing to exit sub-Saharan Africa, as it finds that African business no longer fits with the bank’s strategy. According to news reports, the bank is planning to sell some of its 62% stake in Barclays Africa Group, the publicly traded entity that houses most of its African business. The decision to exit the region is part of the strategic plan evolved by Jes Staley, the new chief executive of the banking group. He intends to refocus the bank on a narrower range of profitable activities. The company is one of Africa’s largest banks, employing about 44,000 people and running 1,267 branches. Barclays had built up its African banking network over nearly a century, making it one of the leading Western banks, along with Standard Chartered and Citigroup.

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