Is Barclays Africa (BAGL) destined to become an orphan with no parent company? It has been five months since the book build in which UK lender Barclays Plc disposed of 12,2% of its holding in BAGL to a wide range of shareholders. With 50.1% of the shares, Barclays is just a handful of shares away from relinquishing control.
There is some speculation as to who will take controlling interest, but the SA Reserve Bank has made it clear that it does not want private equity investors controlling one of the big four banks.
After the Barclays experience the Reserve Bank should have a more jaundiced view of the value of a shareholder of reference. A few names have come up as potential buyers, but these banks operate discreetly, and won’t talk until they are absolutely ready.
It looks increasingly likely that BAGL will revert to being an independent widely held bank.