Investors Battle to Swallow Absa's Road to Recovery Tale

Absa Group Ltd. is having a hard time convincing some investors it can win back the market share lost while under the control of Barclays Plc. South Africa’s third-largest lender was once the leading retail bank with over 10 million customers and more mortgages on its books than any of its Johannesburg-based peers, Bloomberg News reported. Now, released from the shackles of London-based Barclays, Absa Chief Executive Officer Maria Ramos can take on more risk with a plan to grow revenue faster than her main rivals from 2019 to 2021. By its own admission, Absa is lagging FirstRand Ltd., Nedbank Group Ltd. and Standard Bank Group Ltd. in the average number of products per customer and the loyalty of its clients. It has also lost market share among the youth, mass market, middle income and affluent groups. And, to top it all, Absa was 2018’s worst performer in the six-member South African banking index. Read more