Shock as Barclays Follow Anglo, Rio Tinto Out of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe
Now Daily Analysis
There was understandable shock and panic after British conglomerate Barclays plc announced that it was pulling out of Zimbabwe Tuesday.
The bank becomes the second multinational in less than half a year to announce its intentions to quit president Robert Mugabe’s troubled banana republic where economic fortunes are sinking rapidly into the quicksand of political instability triggered by squabbling within the 92 year-old dictator’s Zanu PF party over who will succeed him if he dies or resigns due to poor health.
Damage control experts in the form of Barclays Zimbabwe managing director George Guvamatanga and well-heeled international public relations firms tried to minimize the disaster.
However, from whichever angle you look at it, this is a bad sign for Zimbabwe. This comes just months after Canada-based Rio Tinto sold its 78 percent stake in Murowa Diamonds to locals amid threats of a takeover by government without compensation.
Barclays plc downgraded the Zimbabwe unit to a ‘non-core’ division and said it would be sold as it “is no longer a good fit with Barclays core strategy”.
Guvamatanga moved to reassure customers and investors in Barclays Zimbabwe, which is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, that the pullout by the bank’s UK parent would not have much impact on local operations and expected performance for shareholders
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