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UPDATE 1-Barclays suffers $1.6 billion first-half loss from Africa sale

* 2.5 bln stg loss recorded from Africa sale

* CET1 ratio rises to 13.1 pct

* Profit before tax and Africa sale rises 13 pct (Adds CEO quote, details)

LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) - Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable loss for the first half of the year, as it took a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business.

The lender on Friday reported a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale.

Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15 percent, ending more than 90 years as a major presence in the continent as the bank shifts its focus back to Britain and the United States.

The bank also completed the run-down of its non-core division of assets earmarked for sale to below its goal of 25 billion in assets, meaning the remainder can be folded back in to Barclays.

"Accomplishing both of these milestones marks an end to the restructuring of the Barclays Group, and brings forward the date when our shareholders can benefit from the full earnings power of this business," Chief Executive Jes Staley said in the statement.

The sale of the Africa unit boosted the bank's core capital ratio to 13.1 percent, and the bank said that would rise to 13.4 percent once the full impact of the disposal is included.

Barclays posted a half-year profit before tax of 2.3 billion pounds compared with 2 billion pounds for the same period a year ago, before the impact of the Africa sale was included.

That was worse than the 2.7 billion pounds average estimate of analysts' forecasts compiled by the bank.

In Barclays' investment bank, revenue at the markets division fell 5 pct in the first half to 2.6 billion pounds, as low volatility caused a 20 pct fall in earnings at its macro trading business. That was offset by a stronger showing in credit trading where revenue was up 18 pct, while its equities performance was flat compared with a year ago.

The bank also took a higher than expected 700 million pound charge for mis-selling payment protection insurance, in what is Britain's costliest consumer banking scandal. ($1 = 0.7645 pounds) (Reporting By Lawrence White and Andrew MacAskill)