Johannesburg - Minority shareholders of Absa Group [JSE:ASA]
on Monday overwhelmingly backed a plan to buy the African operations of parent
Barclays for $2.1bn in new shares.
The deal, although dilutive to minority shareholders, is
expected to give Absa greater exposure to fast-growing African markets.
The two banks will merge the bulk of their African
businesses outside of South Africa, with Barclays relinquishing direct control
of eight of its operations on the continent in exchange for 129.5 million new
shares in Absa.
The R18.3bn will increase Barclays' stake in Absa, South
Africa's third-largest bank by market value, to 62.3% from 55.5%.
Barclays had previously blocked ambitions by its subsidiary
to spread further north, citing conflict of interests.
Shares of Absa were up 1.1% at R163.90 in morning trade.
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