Barclays share price: Bank sells UAE retail unit
iNVEZZ.com Sunday, April 6: Barclays (LON:BARC) has struck a deal with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) for the sale of its retail banking operation in the United Arab Emirates at the price of about 650 million dirhams (₤108 million), ADIB said today.
The UK bank has been trying to sell the unit, which has about 111,000 customers, since last year as it looks to focus on corporate banking and wealth management in the UAE. The deal is also part of a broader strategy by Barclays to trim costs and reshape its operations. “The decision to exit the U.A.E. retail banking space, while not taken lightly, allows us to focus on our businesses in corporate and investment banking and wealth and investment management,” John Vitalo, Barclays’s chief executive for the Middle East and north Africa, said in a statement. “These businesses are strong, performing well, and have significant future growth potential.”
Barclays joins Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group in exiting the consumer and commercial-banking business in the UAE. HSBC acquired Lloyds’ operations for $769 million (₤464 million) in 2012, while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) bought RBS’s retail banking assets in 2010.
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**Shareholders to protest against 2013 bonus pool**
The Sunday Times has quoted unnamed sources as saying that up to a quarter of investors are likely to stage a protest this month over the rising wage bill at Barclays’ investment banking. The higher bonuses have eaten away from profit margins and fuelled concerns that chief executive Anthony Jenkins would break his pledge to boost returns. “Costs at the investment bank are out of control and returns are too low,” commented one source. “Without a change in strategy it’s hard to see how Jenkins can lift returns.”
To keep top talent, Jenkins decided to increase the 2013 bonus pool by 10 percent to ₤2.4 billion, despite a 32 percent fall in earnings. Shareholders’ frustration over the move is expected to bubble over at the annual general meeting on April 24.
**Analysts on Barclays**
RBC Capital reaffirmed its ‘ouperform’ rating on Barclays’ shares in a note sent to investors last Friday. It gave the stock a price target of 300.00p.
One equity analyst rates Barclays’ shares as a ‘sell’, nine give them a ‘hold’ rating and 20 are calling them a ‘buy’. The stock has an average rating of ‘buy’ and a consensus price target of 308.67p.
**As of Friday, April 4 buy Barclays shares at 245.35p.**
**As of Friday, April 4 sell Barclays shares at 245.33p.**