Citi to sell off stake in Akbank
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
CitiGroup, the owner of Citibank, is relinquishing its stake in Akbank. REUTERS photoCitiGroup has decided to sell its 20 percent stake in Akbank for purely technical reasons pertaining to the Basell III banking criteria, according to CitiGroup Emerging Markets President Hamid Biglari.
“Actually it wasn’t our choice to sell our stake in Akbank. It was one of the technical decisions we had to make as part of the Basel III criteria…. If there had not been such a requirement, we would have had no intention of selling our shares,” Biglari told daily Hürriyet.
According to the Basel III criteria, a stake over 10 percent is regarded as a “large investment” and adds an additional capital requirement to the shareholder company, explained Biglari. As part of the shareholders agreement between CitiGroup and Sabancı Holding, which owns Akbank, CitiGroup will first have to offer to sell its shares back to Sabancı Holding. Biglari stressed that CitiGroup’s decision had nothing to do with either Turkey or Akbank, and that CitiGroup’s interest in Turkey is ongoing.