Garanti Bank's profit below expectations

Garanti Bank's profit below expectations

Turkey’s Garanti Bank, part owned by Spain’s BBVA, posted 2013 net profit of 3.0 billion Turkish Liras ($1.33 billion) on Jan. 30, down 2.3 percent on the year and below market expectations.

The lender’s fourth-quarter net profit revealed a steep decline of 36 percent, standing at 485 million lira, well below the analysts’ expectation which was around 613 million lira level.

“The bank preserves its position as being the top that international investors and banks would like work with,” Garanti Bank CEO Ergun Özen said.

Turkey’s banks suffered slowing loan growth in 2013 as the government took measures to limit credit card and mortgage debt - once a rapid growth engine for the sector.

Turkish banks face a challenging 2014 after a sharp interest rate hike and mounting inflation are compounded by a political crisis.