Barclays Africa Group, South Africa’s number two lender by market value, is planning to extend its reach throughout the continent.
The lender said this on Thursday after posting annual profit up nearly four per cent.
The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Maria Ramos, said the lender, which is changing its name back to South African brand Absa after its split from former parent Barclays, was aiming to enter Nigeria as it seeks to lift its share of the African market to 12 per cent from six per cent over the medium term.
Finance Director, Jason Quinn, told Reuters that Nigeria had been in its sights for some time.
“We would have to think carefully about how and when to enter the Nigerian market and that is what we are going to start doing,” he said.
“We have to decide how we enter, whether we acquire or build.”
The bank had earlier reported normalised diluted headline earnings per share — the primary measure of profit in South Africa, stripping out one-off items — up 3.9 per cent at 1,837.7 cents for the year to Dec. 31, helped by a 20 per cent drop in credit impairments.
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