Barclays H1 profit climbs 32% in Egypt

Big 5

Barclays PLC posted a 32 percent y-o-y higher profits in Egypt during the first half of the year, the Egyptian arm of the British bank announced Tuesday.

The British lender registered first half profits in Egypt worth 373 million Egyptian pounds ($42 million).

Mohamed Sherif, Finance Director and Board Member at Barclays Bank Egypt, said several factors had contributed to the rise in the bank’s profitability; notably a 15 percent increase in revenues during the first half of the year.

Loans to customers also grew 13 percent to 7.8 billion Egyptian pounds ($878.1 million), compared to 6.9 billion pounds in the same period last year, Sherif added.

Deposits increased 9 percent to 16.9 billion pounds versus 15.4 billion pounds in the same period in 2015.

Barclays Egypt’s assets surged 5 percent to 21.2 billion by end of June 2016 from 20.2 billion pounds last year.

Earlier in March, Barclays’ chief executive, Jes Staley announced intention to sell its Egyptian unit in a bold move to refocus the bank on its core UK and US markets.

The UK-based lender is offloading its Africa unit as part of a plan by Chief Executive Jes Staley to simplify its structure and seek higher shareholder returns, although attempts to sell all the assets together have come up against difficulties including the disparate nature of the business.

Barclays plans to sell its 62 percent stake in Barclays Africa Group (BGAJ.J) over the next two to three years and to sell its separate operations in Egypt and Zimbabwe.

Banks have now been invited to submit bids for the Egypt business, which are due at the end of August, two sources told Reuters earlier in July. Sources have previously said Barclays Egypt’s equity value was around $400 million.

Dubai-based Emirates NBD, which bought BNP Paribas’ Egyptian unit in 2013, was one of the interested parties and has mandated Perella Weinberg Partners to advise it, Reuters cited three sources aware of the matter.

The unit, whose presence in Egypt dates back to 1864, may be worth more than $500 million, Bloomberg reported earlier in February citing one person familiar, who asked not to be identified because the details are not public.