UPDATE 1-CEO of S.Africa's Absa in discussions to leave, bank says

(Adds details, shares)

JOHANNESBURG, April 20 (Reuters) – Absa Group Chief Executive Daniel Mminele is in talks with the board on an agreement to leave the South African bank, the company said on Tuesday, sending its shares down almost 4%.

Mminele took over at Absa, one of the continent’s biggest banks, less than two years ago, and has been responsible for driving a turnaround plan that was largely put in place before his arrival, although he made some changes to strategy.

Business Day newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing sources, that Mminele would step down due to differences of opinion on the bank’s strategic direction.

Absa said in a brief statement that the board had been in discussions with Mminele around his working relationship with them and a further announcement would be made later on Tuesday.

“Mr Mminele and the board are working on a suitable separation agreement,” the bank said, without elaborating.

An Absa spokeswoman declined to comment further.

Mminele could not immediately be reached for comment.

Absa shares were down 3.8% at 0729 GMT.

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