The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) is looking for a transaction advisor to assist it in selling off its shareholding in African Bank.The central bank acquired its 50% shareholding in African Bank in 2016 in exchange for a R5bn capital injection after the bank was placed under curatorship in 2014.
The Sarb has publicly stated that it was never its intention to hold this equity stake indefinitely, particularly because its shareholding creates a potential conflict of interest between its role as a regulator of African Bank and as a major shareholder of the group.
Since the new African Bank began operations in April 2016, it has made good progress towards achieving its strategic objectives, while increasing profits and building a stronger balance sheet. The Sarb believes that this is an opportune time for African Bank to obtain a long-term sustainable shareholder who is better aligned to the bank’s growth aspirations, African Bank said in a statement.
The reserve bank has therefore issued a request for proposal to appoint a transaction advisor to assist the Sarb in determining the scope and approach of the process. It anticipates that the disposal process will be completed within 18-24 months after the identification of a suitable buyer.
African Bank’s other shareholders are FirstRand Bank, Standard Bank, ABSA, Nedbank, Capitec, Investec and the Government Employees Pension Fund, all of which support the Sarb's decision.
“We appreciate the support received from the SARB as a major shareholder since 2016. We have always been mindful that their shareholding is short term in nature," said CEO of African Bank, Basani Maluleke.
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