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Absa of South Africa Buys Islamic Insurance Company Takafol

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Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Absa Group Ltd., the South African bank controlled by Barclays Plc, agreed to buy Takafol South Africa Ltd., an Islamic insurer, for an undisclosed sum.

By combining Takafol’s South African products into Absa Insurance there will be “more direct control” over underwriting and pricing, Johannesburg-based Absa said in an e-mailed statement today. This new operation will comply with Islamic Shariah law, the company said.

Takafol, which started in 2003, will be rebranded Absa Takafol. Uwaiz Jassat, Takafol South Africa’s current managing director, will head the new division.

Absa, South Africa’s biggest retail bank, introduced investment products that comply with Islamic law in 2005. Barclays, the U.K.’s third-biggest lender, owns 56 percent of Absa.

To contact the reporter on this story: Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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