File photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Johannesburg - Absa announced on Thursday it will buy the African operations of its parent Barclays for R18.3 billion, finalising a longstanding plan to fuse their businesses on the fast-growing continent.

As a result of the deal, Barclays will raise its stake in Absa to 62.3 percent from 55.5 percent now, giving it an even tighter hold on South Africa's third-largest bank by value.

The banks said in a joint statement the incorporation of Barclays African operations would lead to a management shake-up at Absa, which would be renamed Barclays Africa Group Ltd.

The deal covers Barclays' operations in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia and the Barclays Africa Regional Office.

Absa will retain its brand for its retail and card business in South Africa

The deal should be completed in the first half of next year, the banks said. -Reuters