The nineties saw the formation of one of the largest retail banks in South Africa through the merger of a number of smaller banks. In 1997 the grouping became known as Absa Bank Ltd (Absa), and by the turn of the millennium Absa was one of the four largest banks in the country. In 2005 international financial services group, Barclays PLC, acquired a 54% stake in Absa. With the backing of Barclays, Absa Corporate and Merchant Bank (ACMB) was re-positioned to become a redefining force in the local investment banking arena. A year after the historic Barclays/Absa deal, Absa unveiled its new investment banking division: Absa Capital. Through its affiliation to Barclays Capital, Absa Capital provides a seamless investment banking solution, unmatched in South Africa.