Barclays to sell Egyptian operations to Morocco's Attijariwafa Bank for $500 mn

Troubled British lender Barclays yesterday agreed to sell its operations in Egypt to Morocco-based Attijariwafa Bank, for $500 million, exiting the country after 150 years og operations.

The London-based bank is also in the process of selling its South African-listed subsidiary, and has been looking to hive off its Egyptian and Zimbabwean operations in order to scale back its presence in Africa, in a bid to recover from several scandals.

It is also in exclusive talks to sell its French retail division to private equity firm AnaCap Financial Partners and is close to announcing the completion of the sale of its Italian retail business to CheBanca.

Barclays, which is reeling from losses on the sales and had cut dividend payouts in 2016 and 2017, plans to sell non-core assets worth £35 billion by the end of 2017 in order to bolster its capital levels.

Last month, it announced that it had netted £615 million from the sale of its risk analytics business to Bloomberg.

Barclays had established its presence in Egypt in 1864 and later expanded its operations in 1986 through a joint venture with Banque du Caire and later took full control of the JV.

Barclays Bank Egypt has around 1,500 employees and 56 branches focused on retail and corporate banking business.

The transaction is estimated to result in a proforma Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio benefit of c.10bps on completion, in part reflecting an expected reduction in risk weighted assets of approximately £2 billion.

Jes Staley, Barclays Group CEO, said, ''I am pleased to announce a further reduction in our Non-Core business. Today's announcement demonstrates our continued focus on improving the Group's returns and our ability to execute our strategy quickly.''