(Releads, adds context for sale)
LONDON, March 28 Barclays is in
exclusive talks to sell its stake in its Zimbabwe unit to
Malawi-based First Merchant Bank, the lenders said on
Tuesday, as the British bank continues its exit from Africa.
First Merchant Bank said in a statement on its website it
was in exclusive talks to buy out the 68 percent of Barclays
Bank of Zimbabwe owned by the British company.
A spokeswoman for Barclays confirmed the bank was in early
discussions with a prospective buyer for its stake in the
Neither party disclosed a value for the prospective deal.
Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe has a market capitalisation of $60
million, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Barclays previously said it was looking to sell the stake as
part of a broader exit from Africa announced a year ago when
Chief Executive Jes Staley said the lender would instead focus
on a transatlantic strategy in the United States and Britain.
Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe is one of two banks together with
Barclays Bank Egypt that do not form part of the lender's South
Africa-based Barclays Africa Group, which is also up
The remaining 32 percent of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe's
shares are traded on the Zimbabwe stock exchange.
(Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Mark Potter)