First Turkish participation bank enters Iraq
ISTANBUL – HürriyetAlbaraka Türk has become the first Turkish participation bank to open a branch in the city of Arbil in northern Iraq. The bank also plans to branch out to Qatar, Bahrain and Dubai in the near term and Europe, specifically Germany, Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo, in the medium term.
“We are in Iraq to increase the presence of Turkish firms in the region, to support the development of the region and to modernize the Middle East,” Albaraka Türk’s general manager, Fahrettin Yahşi, told daily Hürriyet. Yahşi said Arbil was the most developed region in Iraq and on the brink of a re-birth, adding that Albaraka Türk was there to help the city reach its target of becoming a future Dubai.
The bank first plans to act as mediator for foreign trade activities in Arbil, according to Yahşi, and will later take on private banking and other banking services once the appropriate regulatory environment is in place.
Speaking to daily Hürriyet about the bank’s 2012 targets, Yahşi added that the bank plans to grow 20 percent every year until 2015 and open 20 new branches each year.
“We prefer controlled growth rather than aggressive growth,” he said.
Yahşi also said the bank plans to begin issuing Islamic banking sukuk rental bonds this year after the issue was delayed last year due to high costs.