LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) - Barclays shares rose around 2.5 percent in London on Wednesday after Sky News reported the British bank would sell a 1.6 billion pound ($2.1 billion) stake in its African business.
Barclays said in early 2016 it would sell its 50 percent stake in South Africa-based Barclays Africa Group as part of a strategy to refocus on the United States and Britain.
The planned sale, which Sky reported could come as soon as Wednesday evening, would take Barclays' interest in the Africa unit from 50 percent down to 28 percent.
Shares in Barclays Africa fell 3.5 percent in Johannesburg.
Reuters could not immediately confirm the Sky News report.
Barclays Group and Barclays Africa declined to comment.
($1 = 0.7787 pounds) (Reporting by Lawrence White, Additional reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Mark Potter)