Absa is beginning to claw back market share lost to its rivals during the Barclays era. The banking group, which was SA’s largest home-loan lender a decade ago, lost its dominant position through more selective credit extensions as well as the constraints imposed on it by its former parent company, Barclays plc. But investors appeared to be more concerned with the pedestrian earnings growth, at least in the short term, with the share price falling more than 4% at one stage on Monday, before closing nearly 3% lower at R166.16. Its share price is down 8.7% so far in 2018, more than three times the decline in the JSE’s banking index. Absa CEO Maria Ramos showed that the company, recently freed from the oversight of Barclays, has begun making inroads into the market share lost to its major competitors. This included growth in new home loans of 14% against market growth of 4% in the six months to end-June, and 19% growth in vehicle and asset finance when the rest of the industry contract...

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