Barclays Africa Group Limited, which is expanding on the continent after buying most of its parent’s operations in Africa, has applied for an equities trading license in Nigeria in addition to a commercial licence.

“We really want to follow our corporate clients into Nigeria,” Bloomberg quoted the chief executive officer of the Johannesburg-based lender, Maria Ramos to have said in a recent presentation “We want to bank our global and local clients in Nigeria. It’s an important, large and vibrant economy.”

Barclays Africa has a presence in 12 African countries including Kenya, where it has now applied for an insurance license. When the South African bank bought Barclays Plc’s operations in eight African nations in 2013 for 18.3 billion rand ($1.52 billion) in stock, Egypt and Zimbabwe were excluded because of political turmoil and potential regulatory delays.

While Barclays Africa now wants to buy those units, “Egypt will be a very tough negotiation with Plc because the pricing has changed,” Ramos said. “We will have to pay a very competitive price.”

Barclays Africa is rolling out corporate and investment banking services across the continent while using its parent’s franchises to also boost consumer lending outside of South Africa. Within that country, it’s the largest consumer bank after Standard Bank Group Limited and has the most ATMs.

Barclays Africa wants its operations outside of South Africa, which account for 19.5 per cent of earnings, to contribute 20 per cent to 25 per cent of earnings by next year, according to Ramos.

While the lender is targeting a return on equity of 18 per cent, with a current figure of 16.7 per cent “it may be a stretch to get there,” she said.

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