Johannesburg, South Africa | THE INDEPENDENT | Barclays Africa Group Ltd shareholders have approved that the group changes its name to Absa Group Limited in July, setting in motion the start of one of the largest re-brand projects in Africa at this time.
The group name change will not affect functionality of Absa or Barclays products and services in Africa.
The group’s Barclays-branded banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia will continue to trade as ‘Barclays’ even after the group name changes to Absa in July. The Barclays-branded banks in these countries will be rebranded at a later stage, subject to regulatory approvals in those markets.
“The vote in support of our name change in July marks another milestone in our separation from Barclays PLC to become an independent African bank with global reach,” said Wendy Lucas-Bull, Chairman of Barclays Africa Group Ltd in a statement on Tuesday. “This is the start of a brand journey that will galvanise our operations across Africa behind a single brand and purpose.”
As part of the process, the new name must be registered by South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. In accordance with the timetable that we have shared with our shareholders, the name change is expected be effective on 11 July 2018. The group’s share code on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) will change from BGA to ABG on 11 July.
Following the sell-down by Barclays PLC of its majority shareholding in Barclays Africa Group to a minority position in 2017, the two companies are separating. As part of the separation agreement, Barclays Africa Group will cease using the Barclays brand in Africa in 2020.
“We will in the future have a brand that is reflective of our African identity – this as an enormous opportunity as we create a banking group that Africa will be proud of,” Lucas-Bull said.
Barclays African Group Limited recorded a 4% increase in headline earnings in 2017 to US$ 1.3bn (R15.6bn) compared with the previous year despite the continued slow economic expansions in some of the Groups largest markets, including South Africa, where it generates approximately 80% of its income.