Local lender picks Bosnia as Balkan hub

Local lender picks Bosnia as Balkan hub

SARAJEVO - Anatolia News Agency

Turkey’s state-owned Ziraat Bank is set to open more branches in Bosnia-Herzegovina, making the country its operations center in the Balkans, the bank’s director-general told the Anatolia news agency yesterday.

Ziraat Bosnia plans to open 14 new branches in the region, bringing the total number to 21 in Kosovo, Montenegro and in parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina where Serbians and Croatians are in the majority, Hüseyin Aydin said.

“Our bank in Bosnia will be the center for our investments in the entire Balkan region. We will direct all of our operations from here,” Aydın said. “We attach great importance to former Ottoman regions. We plan to be permanent, competitive and efficient [in our operations in the Balkans]. We will be active in all parts of [the Balkans]. And our goal is to be one of the top three banks in this region.”

The bank’s Bosnian unit is the 15th-largest among 19 banks active in the federation, but the goal is to be among the largest 10 banks in the country by the end of the year, Aydın said. Ziraat is active in 17 countries at 78 locations.