After disposing off its non-core assets in Portugal for €175m (£128m, $189m) in early September, Barclays is now considering the sale of its investment banking business in Brazil and is open to talks with potential buyers. The move is part of the bank's restructuring programme led by new chairman John McFarlane.
According to Sky News, some executives at the bank have started exploring options to exit from part of its remaining investment banking operations in Latin America and discussions are at a preliminary stage.
Barclays decision follows HSBC's sale of its Brazilian unit to Bradesco, a Brazilian banking and financial services company, for £3.34bn ($5.07bn) in an all-cash acquisition. However, the businesses of HSBC and Barclays are different in Brazil.
Company officials told Sky News that Barclays had reduced its presence in Brazil around two years ago, with the Brazilian arm being managed by teams in London, Mexico City and New York. But, it continued to offer services such as fixed-income advisory and risk solutions in the South American country and is expected to maintain a limited presence there even post the expected assets sale.
However, when an official comment was sought, a Barclays spokesman said, "We are constantly monitoring our opportunities in different geographies and businesses over the cycle. If any firm decisions are made, we will provide an update."
The restructuring process was implemented by McFarlane to accelerate the process of letting go of its non-core division, after former chief executive Antony Jenkins was fired by the bank. Later, Barclays announced that it had disposed of its non-core assets that included its insurance, wealth and investment management business in Portugal to Spanish bank Bankinter SA.
Further, reports said that Britain's second largest bank was exploring a similar exit in Italy and is in advanced talks to sell its Italian retail network and a portfolio of Italian mortgages worth $4.46bn in two separate auctions.
The moves have stepped-up the bank's retrenchment from eurozone economies at a time when the Greek debt crisis had raised fresh investor concerns about the exposure of British lenders.