Barclays Weighs Sale of Africa Unit Amid Staley Review, FT Says

Barclays Plc, the lender focusing on the most profitable U.K. and U.S. businesses, is considering selling some or all of its operations in Africa, the Financial Times reported, without saying where it got the information.

Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley has questioned the “strategic fit” of the London-based lender’s Africa business, according to the FT report. Will Bowen, a spokesman for Barclays, declined to comment.

Staley, who took charge this month, and Chairman John McFarlane have pledged to restore profit growth at Barclays after the lender was hit with rising costs tied to restructuring and past misconduct. The bank is sounding out potential buyers for its Asian wealth-management business, two people familiar with the matter said last month.

Barclays’s Africa business had a pretax profit of 251 million pounds ($377 million) in the third quarter, down from 272 million pounds a year earlier. The operation had assets of 52.2 billion pounds and a return on average equity, a measure of profitability, of 9.7 percent.

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