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BUSINESS > Swap deal with Russia to speed up as Sberbank enters Turkey

St Petersburg – Hürriyet Daily News

Russian lender Sberbank’s recent entry into the Turkish banking industry may accelarate the implementation of a currency swap deal inked between Turkey and Russia, says Energy Minister Taner Yıldız

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The Turkish government will push the swap operations between Turkey and Russia, Energy Minister Yıldız (C) has said at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. “We will be quite active there,” he says. DHA photo

The Turkish government will push the swap operations between Turkey and Russia, Energy Minister Yıldız (C) has said at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. “We will be quite active there,” he says. DHA photo

Barçın Yinanç Barçın Yinanç barcin.yinanc@hurriyet.com.tr

The recent acquisition of a Turkish bank by a Russian lender will accelerate the implementation of a currency swap agreement between the two countries, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has said.

The implementation of the agreement has been slow due to the absence of Russian banks in Turkey even though six Turkish lenders operate in Russia, Yıldız said late June 21 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), adding that the acquisition of Turkey’s Denizbank by Russian Sberbank would help solve the problem.

“We will push the swap operation between the two countries and we will be quite active there,” Denis Bugrov, senior vice president of Sberbank, told the Turkish press.

The entry of a Russian bank has increased expectations for other banks to follow suit, especially for the second largest Russian bank, VTB.

“There is a rivalry between Sberbank and VTB, akin to the one between the Turkish football teams Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray. I would not be surprised to see VTB follow suit,” a Turkish businessman working in Russia told a group of Turkish journalists.

Turkish-Russian relations

“I don’t want to comment on that issue, but it would not surprise me to see other Russian banks [entering Turkey] in the coming years,” said Bugrov.

The increasing closeness of Turkish-Russian relations was reflected at SPIEF this year, as one of the panels was dedicated solely to Turkey for the first time.

Organized jointly by the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) on the first day of the forum, the panel discussion on Turkey’s shifting investing flows included Yıldız; Bugrov; Stephen Peel, the managing partner in TPG Capital; and Cüneyt Zapsu from Zapsu Consultancy.

An air of optimism dominated the panel as both Pell and Bugrov talked about their investment plans in Turkey following its remarkable success story of the last decade.

Dimitris Tsitsiragos of the International Financing Institution (IFC) said Turkey had weathered the crisis well so far but added that it still faced risks because it was integrated with Europe.

Doors may open to French firms

St Petersburg – Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey may start talking with French companies interested in Turkey’s plans to build nuclear power plants, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has said. France’s former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s unfavorable outlook toward Turkey had previously strained bilateral relations.

“I told them [French companies] that as long as Sarkozy carried on like that, they would be the losers,” said Yıldız. If the new French President François Hollande changes Sarkozy’s policies, talks can resume, he added.

Iran oil imports cut by 20 pct

ST. PETERSBURG - Reuters

Turkey’s sole refiner Tüpraş has cut imports of Iranian crude by 20 percent, Turkish Energy Minister Tamer Yıldız said June 22.

Yıldız said Turkey would continue to source “a certain amount” of crude from its neighbor Iran but would compensate for the reduction by taking more from Saudi Arabia and Libya. Speaking to reporters at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, he said Turkey was settling oil payments to Iran in Turkish Liras.

Iran’s oil buyers have been cutting oil imports to avoid U.S. financial sanctions that aim to stop Iran’s nuclear program.


June/23/2012

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