South Africa’s PIC interested in raising Barclays Africa stake

The Public Investment Corp., manager of the bulk of the South African government’s pension fund money, said it would be interested in increasing its stake in Barclays Africa Group Ltd.

“The fact that Barclays Africa has a strong platform across the continent means that it would be a good partner for the PIC as it rolls-out its strategy in Africa,” said Dan Matjila, the Pretoria-based chief executive officer of Africa’s biggest money manager. There is no such deal being considered at the moment, he said.

Barclays Plc has controlled the South African bank since 2005 and holds a 62.3 percent stake. The Financial Times reported in December that new CEO Jes Staley may reduce London- based Barclays’ African presence. The PIC, with stakes in most of South Africa’s biggest companies, along with investments in Togo-based Ecobank Transnational Inc. and Dangote Cement Plc of Nigeria, already owns about 6 percent of Barclays Africa.

“We are fairly satisfied with how the company is run,” Matjila said, declining to comment on what size of stake the PIC would like to have in the bank.

Barclays Africa has declined 9.5 percent since the Financial Times published its story. That’s more than the 6.5 percent drop in the seven-member FTSE/JSE Africa Banks Index.

 – Bloomberg