Burgan raising regional hopes on Turkey start-up

Burgan raising regional hopes on Turkey start-up

Burgan raising regional hopes on Turkey start-up

Burgan Bank chairman Mehmet Erten (L), group CEO Eduardo Eguren (M) and Burgan Bank CEO Mehmet Sönmez (R). Company photo

Kuwait’s Burgan Bank, which acquired Eurobank Tekfen, will establish itself in Turkey as part of its expansionary moves to be the leading bank in the Gulf region, its top execitve has said. 

Burgan Bank Group, one of Kuwait’s leading banks with a regional presence in Jordan, Iraq, Algeria and Tunisia, acquired a 99.26 percent stake last year in Eurobank Tekfen, which used to be owned by Greek Eurobank EFG and Turkey’s Tekfen Holding. The bank announced yesterday the establishment of the branch in Turkey under the Burgan Bank name. 

“The Turkey-based new bank’s operations will represent 15 percent of the whole operation of the group in six countries and the launching of the Burgan Bank brand in Turkey marks a significant milestone for the bank’s target, which is to establish a regional banking group,” Burgan Bank Group CEO Eduardo Eguren said in a press conference held in Istanbul yesterday to announce the expansion.

The group envisions Turkey as a strong supplement for their subsidiary network in North Africa and the Middle East, both because of Turkey’s own financial value and its significance in terms of regional expansion.

Turkey’s geopolitical position and economic growth potential, along with its interaction with Jordan, Iraq, Algeria and Tunisia, will invigorate the Burgan Group, according to Mehmet Sönmez, the General Manager of Burgan Bank.

He noted that Turkey’s trade with countries the group operates in has increased 55 percent in the last five years, reaching $14.7 billion, and that Burgan Bank aims to increase its volume in light of this amount. 

Burgan Bank aspires to become the first choice for investors and exporters seeking new markets in the Gulf region, Sönmez told daily Akşam after the acquisition of Eurobank Tekfen. “We aim to lead the mediation of transfer of funds from Turkey to the Gulf region and vice versa,” he said.

During yesterday’s press meeting, he also revealed the bank’s financial targets as reaching a balance sheet of 6.5 billion Turkish Liras and 4.6 billion liras in loans by the end of the year. He said that in 2013, they will concentrate on increasing the efficiency of the branches. 

Interest in Turkey
Recently, the Turkish banking sector has been attracting more international players. Lebanon-based Bank Audi opened the Turkish unit of the bank in IstanbulThe trend continued with the announcement of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan’s largest lender, saying it will open a branch in Turkey worth $300 million. The Commercial Bank of Qatar has approached the Turkish Alternatifbank for acquisition.