Turkish turbulence worrisome: head of Qatari lender

Turkish turbulence worrisome: head of Qatari lender

DUBAI - Reuters
The current Turkish turbulence is “disconcerting,” said head of Qatari group that owns majority of Turkey’s Alternatifbank, but played down the impact on any potential weakness in the market to overall businesses of the giant lending group.

“The incidents will have an immaterial impact on Commercial Bank of Qatar’s (CBQ) profitability in 2014 as its Turkish business is a small part of the overall group,” group’s chief executive Andrew Stevens said.

CBQ bought a 74.24 percent stake in Alternatifbank during 2013, part of a trend of Gulf banks looking to acquisitions to diversify their businesses away from competitive home markets.

Since late last year, Turkey has suffered economic instability, with the lira plunging 10 percent in a month, as investors worry about the country’s current account deficit and the impact of a wide-ranging corruption probe.

CBQ will not complete any further acquisitions in the near future as it integrates the Turkish business into its organisation, Stevens also said in a telephone interview from the bank’s Doha headquarters.

“If you look at our previous acquisitions, it has taken us two to three years to digest them. This time, it is different as this is a full-scale consolidation so time is needed to digest, work out the management strategy and improve the links and governance standards between the two parts,” Stevens said.