ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
İşbank’s headquarters located in Istanbul’s Levent district are seen. The bank looks into Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq and Georgia in a bid to become a regional lender. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK
İşbank has been authorized by the State Bank of Pakistan, the central bank of Pakistan, to buy out HSBC branches in the country, a top executive of İşbank, one of Turkey’s largest banking groups, told Reuters yesterday.
“[İşbank] is granted authorization to buy out HSBC branches in Pakistan as of Monday,” he said.
HSBC, one of the largest banking groups in the world, has 11 branches in Pakistan, four in Karachi, two in Islamabad and two in Lahor, according to its official web site.
In a statement made to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, İşbank said it had earlier been announced that the bank was looking to acquire branches in Pakistan and that HSBC branches in this country were part of possible acquisitions.
Turkey’s relations with Pakistan have seen a fresh push recently, as Prime Minister Erdoğan paid an official visit during the last week of May, leading a large political and business mission to the country. In addition, Turkish Airlines has recently announced to increase the number of flights to Pakistan from seven to 28 per week.
Noting that İşbank was continuing with its growth strategy abroad, Aral said, “We expect to make clear [an agreement] to acquire a bank in Azerbaijan
in July or August. Talks in Egypt are also proceeding.”
İşbank’s goal in international banking was primarily to become a regional bank and then to go global, İşbank General Manager Adnan Bali had said at a press meeting in February.
“We are currently evaluating banking opportunities in Iraq’s Baghdad, Georgia’s Batumi, Kosova’s Pristina and Azerbaijan’s Baku
within the scope of supporting our bank’s strong structure in Turkey. There are also works to expand our banking activities, which are currently at a representative [office] level, in Egypt,” he said.
İşbank is active in 12 countries abroad, operating 48 branches, two representative offices, and a total of 805 staff, and its assets amounted to 28.3 billion liras as of the end of 2011, Bali said at the same meeting.