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Africa: StanChart buys Barclays’ custody business

Sale proceeds to be reinvested in Africa; StanChart in Africa/Middle East custody push

Barclays has agreed to sell one of the jewels of its Africa franchise, its custody business, to its main rival in the region, Standard Chartered. But Barclays says it is still fully committed to Africa. Proceeds from the sale will be used to support other elements of Barclays’ Africa franchise, according to a spokesperson.

With the implementation of central securities depositories, settlement is easier. African markets have become much more liquid

Giles Elliott, Standard Chartered

Giles Elliott, global head of securities services at Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered says the acquisition demonstrates the increased investment it has been making in recent years in its overall Africa operation, and in custody banking globally. "We think this is a fantastic opportunity to deepen and grow our client relationships in Africa," says Giles Elliott, global head of securities services at Standard Chartered.

Barclays exited the global custody business outside Africa in 1998. It says that although its Africa custody business is profitable, it would benefit from the synergies a global custody operation could provide. "We don’t think the sale will impact the competitiveness of our banking franchise.

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