Local, global banks eye stake in Turkish lender

Local, global banks eye stake in Turkish lender

Hülya Güler - ISTANBUL
Local, global banks eye stake in Turkish lender A number of local and global lenders have expressed interest in buying a majority stake in Turkey’s Finansbank, which is now owned by Greece’s leading lender, the National Bank of Greece (NBG). 

Turkey’s Yapı Kredi, Garanti Bank and Fiba Bank, which is owned by Finansbank’s former owner Hüsnü Özyeğin as well as Qatar National Bank (QNB) and Société Générale, are all eyeing a stake in Finansbank, according to sources close to the matter. 

The Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) will run a tender for the sale of the stakes in Finansbank in coordination with the European Commission. The first offers are expected to be collected by the end of this week, added sources. 

Turkey’s Garanti Bank, Fiba Bank and Yapı Kredi have begun preliminary research, according to sources.
Garanti and Fiba Bank executives confirmed the research, although Yapı Kredi executives told daily Hürriyet that there was no reason to make a public announcement at the moment.

There are also at least two foreign lenders which are interested in acquiring a majority stake in Finansbank, namely, QNB, which has sought to enter the Turkish market for some time, and France’s Société Générale. 

Greece’s NBG, which owns 99.8 percent of Finansbank, needs additional capital to be able to pass the European Central Bank’s stress tests – something that could be attained by selling one of its most valuable subsidiaries, Finansbank. 

Under a restructuring plan approved by European regulators, NBG committed to selling 40 percent of its stake in Finansbank, but postponed plans earlier this year on valuation concerns.

Finansbank, which was established by Özyeğin in 1987, now has 658 branches and 12,884 employees, according to the bank’s figures. The bank made 504 million Turkish Liras in net profit in the first half of 2015.