Türkiye Finans says it plans more sukuk issues

Türkiye Finans says it plans more sukuk issues

ISTANBUL - Reuters
Turkish lender Türkiye Finans plans to issue both lira and foreign currency-denominated sukuk in 2014, it said on Monday, reflecting Turkey’s growing Islamic finance industry as the government promotes a wider range of Islamic finance products.

“We think that the experience we have gained from previous sukuk issues will reflect on future sukuk issues. We plan both domestic currency and forex-denominated sukuk issues in 2014,” said Chief Executive Derya Gürerk.

The lender, majority owned by Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank, issued a $500 million sukuk earlier this year. Promoting Islamic finance in Turkey, the world’s 17th largest economy with a predominantly Muslim population of 76 million, is part of government plans to boost commercial ties with the Gulf and diversify the country’s investor base.

Turkey’s Islamic banks, known locally as participation banks because of political sensitiveness in the constitutionally secular country, have seen their assets grow six-fold over the last decade as their combined branch network has more than tripled.

Last year Islamic banks had assets totaling a combined $36 billion, representing a 5 percent share of total banking assets. This was a 25 percent rise from a year earlier, compared with 13 percent growth for conventional banks.

The country now has 50 banks, four of which are Islamic: Al Baraka Turk, Bank Asya, Türkiye Finans and Kuveyt Türk, 62 percent owned by Kuwait Finance House.