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Barclays aims for bigger share of euro clearing business in Middle East
March 22, 2017 / 2:42 PM / 6 months ago

Barclays aims for bigger share of euro clearing business in Middle East

DUBAI, March 22 (Reuters) - Barclays aims to increase its share of the euro clearing business in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) from low double-digits to 25 percent in the next three years, a senior Barclays executive said, capitalising on growing demand from companies for transactions in euros.

Barclays is already one of the largest clearers of transactions in sterling and has stepped up efforts in euro clearing in the past few years.

“It is about gaining market share in the euro clearing right now,” KP Sunil Rao, director of the financial institutions group in MENA, said. “We are in lower double digit. I think it could increase to 25 percent market share, hopefully in the next three years.”

Rao also said the bank had reassured clients in the region that the bank would retain the capacity to clear euros after Brexit.

In Britain, there is uncertainty over whether London will be able to clear euros after Brexit but big British banks like Barclays will continue to be able to clear euros through their offices in the euro zone.

Clearing is the process of settling transactions between banks and is big business for large global lenders.

Barclays’ share of the sterling clearing business within its targeted countries in MENA has risen to 40 percent from 9 percent in 2009, a time when some other British banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group have scaled back in the region.

Some international banks have cut correspondent banking ties to lenders in the region as they seek to shed risks.

“We have 40 percent of the market share for sterling clearing and our market share for euro clearing is growing, so we have not backed away from this region,” David Scola, global head of financial institutions at Barclays, said.

Barclays last year trimmed nearly 150 staff from its corporate banking arm in Dubai as part of a wide-ranging restructuring following the appointment of Jes Staley as chief executive in December 2015. (Editing by Jane Merriman)

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