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FIRST Merchant Bank of Malawi finalised the acquisition of the majority stake in Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe from its parent company, Barclays plc amid reports the signing was pushed forward by a week to ward off several objections and interdicts. 

FMB, a financial institution created in 1995, is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange, while it also has equity interests in banking operations in Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. Barclays Bank Zimbabwe was established in 1912, and has operated continuously since.

A binding agreement was signed between Barclays Plc and FMB in London on Tuesday, while an application for regulatory approval was made to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe yesterday. The process to obtain regulatory approvals is expected to take about 90 days.

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