Islamic lender raises capital after massive gov’t withdrawal
ISTANBUL - Reuters
Bank Asya, Islamic lender known to be having close links with Fethullah Gülen, has increased its cash capital after last week’s claimed deposit withdrawal.Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya has made a cash capital increase on the back of claims that state-owned companies and institutional depositors have withdrawn millions of Turkish Liras of the bank’s total deposits.
The lender said it had decided to make a cash capital increase of 33 percent to 1.2 billion liras ($515 million) and was selling an 18 percent stake in retailer Yeni Mağazacılık (A101) for 298 million liras.
The bank last week said it had weathered mass deposit withdrawals, which the media said were orchestrated by government supporters as part of a backlash against a corruption scandal blamed on an influential cleric.
Turkish media had said companies and depositors close to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have withdrawn 4 billion liras ($1.79 billion), some 20 percent of the bank’s total deposits, over the last month to try to sink the lender.
In an interview with Reuters last week, Bank Asya chief executive Ahmet Beyaz had admitted the withdrawal, without specifying the amount.
“The deposit withdrawal was a significant sum, but new deposits worth more than half that amount were placed in the bank, making it possible for us to manage our liquidity,” Beyaz had said Jan. 21, underscoring the bank is not at risk.
Beyaz said the bank’s founders included sympathizers of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who officials accuse of being behind the corruption investigation.
Despite being a sympathizer of the U.S.-based cleric, Beyaz also underlined that his bank did not belong to Gülen’s Cemaat religious community network: “This bank does not belong to the Cemaat. Its founders include people close to the Cemaat.”