Barclays’ African business had 36 billion pounds of assets on a risk-adjusted basis and made a profit of 791 million pounds in the first nine months of this year, or 13 percent of the bank’s core profits.
“Banks that don’t have investments in Africa should actually now be looking at investing because now is the time where your prices are low, your valuations are low and from here on now things can only get better.”
The fund manager believes Staley’s rational is most likely because of his investment banking background.
“Investment bankers by nature tend to take shorter views, although as a CEO of a giant like Barclays, you should be taking 20-year views,” Kooyman said.
Kooyman added that Africa has “diminished” a lot in terms of growth prospects so he reckons Staley could be revaluating how much capital he wants to commit towards a “low growth continent”.
“And in South Africa, we are suddenly looking at a country which could be growing at zero to one per cent for a few years,” Kooyman said.