S.Africa watchdog says Barclays Africa must repay $86.44 mln over bailouts


Reuters

UPDATE 1-S.Africa watchdog says Barclays Africa must repay $86.44 mln over bailouts


(Adds Barclays comment, shares)
    PRETORIA, June 19 (Reuters) - Barclays Africa Group <BGAJ.J>
unduly benefited from apartheid-era bailouts and must repay
1.125 billion rand ($86.44 million), South Africa's anti-graft
watchdog said on Monday, though the bank denied any wrongdoing.
    Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in January reopened a
probe of Absa, a unit of Barclays Africa, following a wider
report published last November by her predecessor.
[nL5N1F30M1][nL8N1D31UX]
    She said on Monday that the probe had found that the
apartheid government breached the constitution by supplying
Bankorp, which was acquired by Absa in 1992, with a series of
bailouts from 1985 to 1995.
    Absa said in a statement it had not received a copy of the
report and denied any wrongdoing, saying it "met all its
obligations in respect of the loan provided by the South African
Reserve Bank by October 1995."
    "Once we have read it we will consider our legal options
including seeking a High Court review. It is our firm position
that there is no obligation to pay anything to the South African
government," Absa said.
    Shares in Barclays Africa fell 2.61 percent to 142.68 rand
by 1253 GMT.
   ($1 = 12.7941 rand)

 (Reporting by Dinky Mkhize in Pretoria and Nqobile Dludla in
Johannesburg; Editing by James Macharia)
 ((Edward.Stoddard@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3160; Reuters
Messaging: edward.stoddard.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: SAFRICA ZUMA/BARCLAYS GROUP (UPDATE 1)



This article appears in: Politics , World Markets , Stocks , Economy , Technology
Referenced Symbols: BGAJ


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