Qatari bank in talks to buy stake in Islamic Turkish bank
DUBAI - Reuters
Qatar Islamic Bank may buy share in Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya, the company has announced.Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) has entered into exclusive discussions to acquire a stake in Turkey’s Bank Asya, the Qatari lender said in a statement on March 26.
“QIB is seeking to finalise the transaction within the next few months, subject to obtaining the required regulatory approvals,” it said.
The Qatari bank did not say what stake it might buy or disclose any other details.
On March 25, Bank Asya said it had started talks on a strategic partnership with QIB and planned to complete the process soon. It gave no further details.
The Islamic bank has been in focus since Turkish media reported that state-owned companies and institutional depositors have withdrawn 4 billion lira ($1.8 billion), or some 20 percent of the bank’s total deposits, because the bank’s founders included sympathisers of cleric Fethullah Gülen, a former ally-turned-critic of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Bank Asya said it had weathered the mass deposit withdrawals and was not at risk. The government has declined to comment.
Media speculated the withdrawals were part of an orchestrated backlash against a government corruption investigation, blamed on Gülen, and which poses one of the biggest challenges to Erdoğan’s 11-year rule.