Reserve Bank moves to offload stake in African Bank

African Bank. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
African Bank. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

The SA Reserve Bank said on Friday it was seeking a transaction adviser for the sale of its 50% stake in African Bank Holdings.

The stake was acquired amid one of SA's biggest banking collapses, when African Bank Investments collapsed under a mountain of bad debt in 2014.

The Bank acquired its 50% stake in African Bank holdings in 2016 as part of the restructuring of the group, with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) taking a 25% stake, and a banking consortium the remaining 25%. 

The support package resulted in the shareholders giving R10bn in capital to refinance the Bank.

The Bank has said previously it wanted to sell its stake once African Bank stabilised, saying on Friday it wanted to avoid the conflict of interest between being a regulator, and a bank shareholder.

“Since the new African Bank began operations in April 2016, the Bank has made good progress towards achieving its strategic objectives, while increasing profits and building a stronger balance sheet,” the Bank said in a statement.

“The SA Reserve Bank believes that this is an opportune time for the Bank to obtain a long-term sustainable shareholder who is better aligned to the Bank’s growth aspirations.”

The Bank has issued a request for proposal for a transaction adviser for the sale of its stake, saying it anticipated that the disposal process would be completed within 18 to 24 months after a suitable buyer is identified.

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