Absa Drops on Profit Miss as South African Economy Struggles

Absa Group Ltd., the South African lender once controlled by Barclays Plc, fell for the ninth straight day to head for its longest streak of losses in six years as full-year profit missed analyst estimates, Bloomberg News reported. Banks in Africa’s most industrialized economy are battling to overcome the challenges of tepid gross domestic product growth and a loss of consumer and business confidence, pressuring their ability to generate revenue. Tax increases, higher fuel and utility prices, and stubborn unemployment of 27 percent is cutting into disposable income, while lingering policy uncertainty over land reform, rising government debt levels and struggling state-owned companies are weighing on investor interest. Absa’s full-year adjusted earnings per share excluding items related to the Barclays separation rose 4 percent to 19.10 rand ($1.32), missing the average estimate of 13 analysts for an increase to 19.28 rand. Read more