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Absa said on Tuesday its CEO Maria Ramos would retire at the end of February after ten years at the helm, sending the bank’s shares higher as traders saw this as a chance for a fresh start.
René van Wyk will become interim chief executive with effect from March until a permanent appointment is made, the lender said in a statement.
Absa, currently South Africa’s third biggest lender, has been trying to carve out a name for itself as a stand-alone African bank after separating from its parent, Britain’s Barclays, in 2017.
Ramos steps down after completing that separation and the relaunch of the brand.
“With the separation on track and our new strategy as a standalone financial institution in place, Maria feels that this is the right time to retire,” Absa said.
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The bank said Ramos had indicated a desire to step down earlier, but agreed to see the group through the separation negotiations with Barclays.
Nilan Morar, head of trading at Global Trader, concurred: “Making way for fresh blood and new ideas would not typically be a bad thing after a period that is that long.”
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India dismissed 15 top officials
India on Tuesday sacked 15 senior tax officials facing probes in corruption cases, sending across a tough message to bureaucrats taking kickbacks for facilitating tax evasion by companies, a government statement said.
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Last week, the government had dismissed 12 income tax officials who were mainly facing corruption charges.
India improved its ranking, among 180 countries, by three points to 78th on a global corruption index in 2018, according to the annual index of the Transparency International, an anti-graft watchdog.
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