Turkey’s Fibabanka ‘joins race for HSBC’s Turkish unit’

Turkey’s Fibabanka ‘joins race for HSBC’s Turkish unit’

ISTANBUL - Reuters
Turkey’s Fibabanka ‘joins race for HSBC’s Turkish unit’


Turkey’s Fibabanka has joined the ranks of banks interested in buying HSBC’s Turkish unit, two sources close to the matter told Reuters, a business that is also being considered by ING Group.

Sources said late in August that HSBC was dragging its feet on the sale to ING as the London-based lender was no longer in a hurry to exit Turkey after securing a hefty $5.2 billion for its Brazilian unit.

Underscoring that, HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver on Monday said the planned sale would take “a little longer”.

“Fibabanka has joined those interested in HSBC Turkey. ING is still among those in the process,” said one of the sources, both of whom declined to be identified because the information is not yet public.

Established by leading Turkish businessman Hüsnü Özyeğin in 1987, the Fiba Group is also involved in real estate, retailing, hotel management and energy. According to its website, Fibabanka joined the Fiba Group in 2011 and has a network of 67 branches across Turkey.

ING was one of three banks to submit a non-binding bid in May, sources previously said. The others were Bahrain’s Arab Banking Corp (ABC) and France’s BNP Paribas.

Another source familiar with the matter said: “HSBC gave its workers the message that operations in Turkey are continuing and that the Turkish unit should continue its operations with its 2016 targets.”

HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, has around 300 retail branches and corporate and investment banking operations in Turkey. The Turkish business lost $64 million last year following a $155 million hit at its retail arm after regulatory changes capped interest rates on credit cards and overdrafts.