Barclay's to bid for stake in Absa

April 26, 2005 at 10:16 AM

LONDON, April 26 (UPI) -- British banker Barclays will offer $5.15 billion for a majority-stake in South Africa's largest consumer bank, Absa.

But whether or not the investment proposal will be accepted will turn largely on the willingness of South African officials to let a foreign country take control of one of the nation's key financial assets, the Telegraph reported Tuesday.

South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has laid down various confidential conditions for the deal, believed to have to do with the government's Black Empowerment initiatives.

The post-apartheid country is sensitive to its assets being snapped up by foreigners, not least because it could discourage native ownership.

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