Barclays Africa Group Ltd. is outperforming its South African peers for the first time in three years after backing out of a chase for market share in unsecured lending helped stem bad loans and boost profit.
Barclays Plc’s Absa Group Ltd. has gone from being South Africa’s best-performing bank stock to its worst after an exodus of executives, slowing income and lower profit this year under Chief Executive Officer Maria Ramos.
Barclays Plc’s African unit is equipping tellers with iPads and offering customers mobile apps as the bank tries to win back market share by stepping up lending in the face of slowing growth in South Africa.
Absa Group Ltd., the African unit of Barclays Plc, said profit last year missed targets and the firm’s performance, hit by real estate losses, prompted Chief Executive Officer Maria Ramos to forsake a cash bonus and curb boardroom payouts.
Maria Ramos, the chief executive officer of Barclays Plc-controlled Absa Group Ltd. who gave up her cash bonus for 2012, may be entitled to about 19 million rand ($2.1 million) of other payouts by the end of March.
Absa Group Ltd.’s Chief Executive Officer Maria Ramos said International Monetary Fund and World Bank appointments must go to the best qualified people, not to certain countries, in response to a question posed by reporters on Trevor Manuel’s candidacy.
Barclays Plc is joining Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG in targeting millionaire clients in Africa as the continent’s fastest-growing economies swell a rich list topped by billionaires Aliko Dangote and Johann Rupert.