March 12, 2019 / 1:42 PM / 12 days ago

African Bank appoints ex-Liberty Holdings CEO as chairman

JOHANNESBURG, March 12 (Reuters) - African Bank, a small South African lender which is trying to rebuild after nearly collapsing under the weight of bad debts, said it has appointed Thabo Dloti, former CEO of insurer Liberty Holdings, as its chairman.

Dloti, who is also an ex-CEO of Old Mutual Investment Group and Liberty Holdings’ asset management subsidiary Stanlib, will be a permanent replacement for Louis von Zeuner, who left African Bank last July.

“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Dloti as chairperson and look forward to his leadership and contribution in furthering the development and delivery of the African bank strategy,” African Bank’s CEO Basani Maluleke said in a statement.

African Bank was bailed out with a 10 billion rand ($700 million) capital injection from a consortium of lenders in 2014, when the South African Reserve Bank stepped in to arrange a rescue after the lender said it would need to raise $800 million to cover bad loans.

The central bank still owns a 50 percent stake in African Bank.

The lender said Dloti had a record of driving strategy and transformation within blue chip companies. He spearheaded an acquisition-fuelled expansion drive at Liberty but left abruptly two years ago after a clash over that strategy.

Liberty Holdings is owned by big four lender Standard Bank .

$1 = 14.2800 rand Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Susan Fenton

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