Lebanese bank to double investment in Turkey
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily NewsOdea Bank, the Turkish unit of the Lebanese Bank Audi, will increase its capital from $300 million to at least $600 million, said the bank’s General Manager Hüseyin Özkaya, according to Hürriyet.
Noting that the establishment preparation continues at full steam, Özkaya said, “We are going through a very serious test phase. We test everything – the system, preparations, everything once again. All these [works] necessitate investment. There are indications from the investor that the investment will be constant. We have shared all our works particularly with the group chief executive officer Samir Hanna. The investor has promised us that the amount of capital or funds that we want will be provided. We may at least double the current $300 million. We are talking about $1 billion investment here,” he said.
Odea Bank was the first bank to obtain a banking license last year in Turkey after a 12 year-hiatus of no banking licenses. The lender could not register the name Bank Audi as it conflicts with the name of the German auto maker.
Odea Bank will not be the last bank to obtain banking license, Özkaya said, according to daily Akşam. “From what I have heard indirectly is that there are other banks, which demand a banking license [from Turkey]. Post the 2001 [economic crisis in Turkey] there was a very good reason not to grant banking licenses,” he said. But now capital structure, capital adequacy ratios of banks in Turkey all make up a successful banking system, according to Özkaya.