Barclays, China Development Bank extend strategic tie-up to Africa

HONG KONG, March 26 Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:24pm EDT

HONG KONG, March 26 (Reuters) - British bank Barclays PLC and China Development Bank Corporation (CDB) have signed a new agreement that expands an existing strategic tie-up to Africa, the firms said on Wednesday.

The new memorandum of understanding replaces previous agreements between the two that had been in place since 2007. It will see Barclays provide state-owned CDB with corporate and investment banking capabilities and access to its retail and business banking platform in 14 African countries, Timothy Cuffe, a Barclays spokesman said.

The two firms' existing cooperation has been focused mainly on staff training, and banking opportunities within China.

CDB is seeking to turn itself into a commercial lender, rather than a government-focused bank, and has signalled its ambitions to grow internationally.

That strategy includes helping Chinese companies to invest in Africa, a supplier of oil and raw materials like copper and uranium to China, the world's second-largest economy.

In 2011 CDB also signed strategic agreements with global private equity funds KKR, Permira and TPG Capital . (Reporting By Lawrence White; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)