Eyes on Finansbank amid Greece’s fallout fears
Hülya Güler - ISTANBULThe Turkish banking sector’s eyes are on Finansbank, 99.8 percent of which is owned by the National Bank of Greece (NBG), after the dramatic deterioration in the Greek economy, while a high level representative in Finansbank said any concerns about the bank’s deposit are baseless.
European Commission may, however, ask for the sale of Finansbank to other parties and the Qatar National Bank (QNB) has already shown interest in buying stakes in the bank, according to other sources.
“What is happening in Greece and about the NBG will not definitely negatively affect the deposits of Finansbank’s clients. A majority of stakes of Finansbank is owned by a foreign bank, but it is completely subject to the Turkish banking rules and authority. It is not possible for the deposits here to be transferred there. Such concerns are completely baseless,” the source said.
Finansbank’s deposits will not be negatively affected even if Greece or the NGB go bankrupt, but European authorities may urge for the sale of Finansbank, according to banking sources. Some banks have already shown interest in buying the bank, sources added.
The QNB reportedly made a contact to the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), which also covers the NBG, to show its interest in buying Finansbank, according to sources. The HFSF makes its activities in coordination with the European Commission and it is now waiting for the assessment of the commission regarding the issues, they added.
The NBG postponed a share offering for Finansbank this year, as valuation concerns sidelined a $275 million deal seen as critical for Greece’s top lender to meet European regulations.
Under a restructuring plan approved by European regulators, the NBG needs to sell 40 percent of its stake in Finansbank, a rare bright spot as NBG has been shredded by Greece’s debt crisis and recession. In October 2014, NBG failed a stress test given by the European Central Bank.