The Nairobi Securities Exchange  has halted trade of Barclays Bank Kenya  shares to facilitate settlement of all outstanding obligations as the lender changes name to Absa Kenya.

Barclays has formally rebranded into the warm red Absa colours, bidding farewell to the over 100-year-old blue eagle emblem.

The bank announced Monday that it has received all requisite shareholder and regulatory approvals to change to the new name and brand.

“The bank will commence trading with effect from February 10, 2020 as Absa Bank Kenya Plc,” the bank said in a statement.

“All contractual relationships and obligations that the bank has with its customers, partners and other shareholders are not affected by this change of name.”

The bank has beat the June 2020 deadline of dropping the Barclays name. Uganda was the first among Absa group’s East African markets to switch to the new name.

The lender’s shares will now trade on the NSE under the ABSA ticker as opposed to BBK.

Brokers had on Friday been instructed by the Central Depository & Settlement Corporation to fast-track the settlement of Thursday’s trades even as the trading of the share was halted.

“The temporary halt will take place on Monday, 10th February, 2020,” NSE said in a statement on Monday.

SEPARATION

Absa Kenya has already repainted most of its branches and rolled out new debit and credit cards donning the new brand.

The name change was triggered by the decision of London-based Barclays Group Plc to significantly cut down its stake in Barclays Africa and consequently in Barclays Kenya.

It gave a condition to Barclays Africa and its subsidiaries to drop the name by mid-2020. Barclays Plc now owns 14.9 percent stake in Absa Kenya, down from controlling stake of 68.5 percent.

Absa Kenya’s parent company, Absa Group, was the first to drop the name ‘Barclays’ in July 2018 and subsidiaries have been working to follow suit. Barclays Uganda made the switch in November 2019.

The process of separation has been rigorous and going beyond just repainting the branches to the warm red Absa brand. Absa Kenya had to form a team of 45 people, fully dedicated to the separation process.

This was in addition to various governance structures and a steering committee to ensure a seamless separation and the rebrand to Absa.

Last year saw the bank implemented over 70 technology-specific projects to eliminate service dependency on Barclays Plc and the Kenyan unit to superior and customer centric systems.

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