Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Johannesburg: The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) says it will list its 50% shareholding in African Bank after concluding that none of the interested investors were suitable to acquire its stake.

African Bank was placed under curatorship in 2014 following a debt crisis. The Reserve Bank then bought a 50% stake in the bank to save it from collapse, but did not want to be a long-term investor, given the potential conflict as the regulator.

The SARB announced its process to dispose of its shareholding in the Bank on 1 June 2021.

At the time, the SARB appointed a set of transaction advisers and proceeded on a dual-track approach, which focused on two potential exit options, namely a sale to investors and an initial public offering (IPO).

On Tuesday, the SARB said all expressions of interest were considered, and consultation took place with the relevant stakeholders and regulators involved in this process.

“After due consideration of the expressions of interest that were received, the SARB has concluded that none of the interested investors would be suitable to acquire the SARB’s shareholding at this stage.

“The SARB will work closely with African Bank Holdings Ltd [ABHL] and the rest of the shareholders, and thus proceed with the IPO process. The timing of the launch of the IPO will be dependent on prevailing market conditions.

“The period leading up to the IPO will provide ABHL the opportunity to continue with its successful turnaround and execute its accelerated growth strategy.” said the SARB.