Barclays Africa to Meet Zimbabwe’s Indigenization Minister

Zimbabwean Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said he will meet Barclays Africa Chief Executive Officer Kennedy Bungane about plans by the lender’s local unit to sell a majority stake to black citizens by June.

“We will be meeting him next week Tuesday to discuss their plans and proposal with regards to the indigenization compliance,” Kasukuwere said in a telephone interview today from Harare, the capital. “The meeting is already set.”

Under Zimbabwean law, foreign-owned companies must sell or cede 51 percent of their operations to black Zimbabweans or the government. Barclays, Standard Chartered Plc and the local units of South Africa’s Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Nedbank Group Ltd. held talks with the National Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Board in the last week of February.

Barclays Zimbabwe, which is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, has “made all submissions required by the laws on indigenization to the relevant authorities,” Managing Director George Guvamatanga said in an e-mailed statement today. Bungane’s visit to Zimbabwe is routine, Guvamatanga said. He declined to confirm if the meeting with Kasukuwere was set.

Standard Chartered, which also operates in the southern African nation, has yet to schedule a date, Kasukuwere said.

“We also expect representatives of Standard Chartered Bank to come,” Kasukuwere said. “If they don’t come, we will simply publicize through a gazette that they are not compliant and the law will have to take its course.”

Mining companies including units of Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Anglo American Platinum Ltd. have already complied with the law. President Robert Mugabe said on March 1 that 51 percent ownership won’t be required in every case.