Islamic lender Bank Asya’s deposits melt by 4.5 bln liras after government-led withdrawal
ISTANBUL - ReutersIslamic lender Bank Asya’s deposits have plunged by 24.3 percent, 4.5 billion Turkish Liras, since the beginning of the year, the bank said on May 7, indicating the extent of the reported massive government-forced withdrawal.
The Islamic lender, whose founders are known to be close to the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, have been in focus since the Turkish media reported that state-owned companies and institutional depositors loyal to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had withdrawn around 4 billion liras in the wake of the Dec. 17, 2013 graft probe.
Ahmet Beyaz, CEO of Bank Asya, confirmed the withdrawals, but claimed the bank had collected deposits from more than half of the amount that was withdrawn.
The lender managed to avoid a major crisis by making a cash capital increase of 33 percent to 1.2 billion liras and selling an 18 percent stake in retailer Yeni Mağazacılık (A101) for 298 million liras.
According to official results, Bank Asya’s net profit fell by 9 percent to 40.8 million liras in the first quarter, while its cash loans decreased 18.5 percent to 21.3 billion liras.
In late March, Bank Asya announced entering discussions with Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) over selling its stake in the Turkish lender, boosting the bank’s shares at the stock exchange by over 50 percent within four days.