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Barclays Agrees Deal to Combine Africa Businesses

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Barclays on Thursday said it had agreed a deal to combine the majority of the British bank's Africa operations with Absa -- the lender's African subsidiary.

"This transaction will give us a platform from which we can further grow our Africa business to the benefit of customers, colleagues, shareholders and the communities in which we operate," Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins said in a statement.

Barclays had first announced in late August that it was in talks with Absa over the deal.

On Thursday, Barclays said its stake in Absa would increase to 62.3 percent from 55.5 percent as a result of the transaction.

Absa was to buy Barclays Africa in exchange for Absa shares worth 18.33 billion Rand ($2.1 billion, 1.6 billion euros).

The deal involves the combination of Barclays interests in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia with Absa, with Barclays remaining as the majority shareholder of the combined African operations.

Maria Ramos, chief executive of Absa Group and Barclays Africa, said: "We are tremendously excited by the opportunities for growth across the continent and the geographically diversified earnings potential that a combined business would deliver."

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