(Adds price estimate, background on Africa disposals, share
LONDON Oct 4 Britain's Barclays has
completed the sale of its Egyptian business to Morocco's
Attijariwafa Bank as part of its shift towards focusing
on the United States and Britain.
The sale will mean a cut of about 2 billion pounds ($2.55
billion) in Barclays' risk-weighted assets, it said on Tuesday,
boosting the bank's core capital ratio by about 0.1 percent.
Barclays did not give a price for the transaction, although
sources previously told Reuters they valued the business at
around $400 million.
The London-based lender is seeking to sell its African
operations as part of a plan by Chief Executive Jes Staley to
simplify its structure and improve shareholder returns.
However, attempts to sell the African businesses as one have
come up against difficulties, including the disparate nature of
the local units, the biggest of which is Barclays Africa Group
, mainly made up of former South African bank ABSA.
Barclays successfully sold a 12 percent chunk of its holding
in the South African bank in May, but talks to sell a bigger
holding in the business have so far not yielded a deal.
Former Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond's bid to buy
Barclays Africa Group as part of a consortium was dealt a blow
by the withdrawal of Carlyle Group earlier this year.
Reuters reported Attijariwafa's interest in March, as the
Moroccan lender's general manager told Reuters he planned to
expand in Egypt.
Barclays shares were up 1.4 percent at 1500GMT, in line with
an increase in the broader STOXX European banks index.
($1 = 0.7843 pounds)
(Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by David Clarke and