UniCredit ‘happy with partnership in Turkey’s Yapı Kredi’

UniCredit ‘happy with partnership in Turkey’s Yapı Kredi’

Sefer Levent - MILAN
UniCredit ‘happy with partnership in Turkey’s Yapı Kredi’ UniCredit has expressed happiness about its partnership with Turkey’s Koç Holding at Yapı Kredi Bank, a senior executive with the Italian lender has said, noting that the company board is not entertaining thoughts of selling the bank, in contrast to recent claims.

Some reports recently claimed that UniCredit was assessing the possibility of reducing some of its holdings, including trimming stakes in Yapı Kredi, as well as Poland’s Bank Pekao PEO.WA.

But UniCredit Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) President Carlo Vivaldi told a group of Turkish journalists in Milan that the lender was happy with its partnership with Koç Holding in Yapı Kredi, which began in 2002. 
Asked whether the lender would maintain its presence in the Turkish market, Vivaldi said the issue had not been discussed by the board. 

“It is not appropriate to make a comment about a matter which was not on the table during the board meeting,” he said, adding that the lender planned to increase the share of the CEE region, which also includes Turkey, in total equity from the current 27 percent to 33 percent by 2018. 

Yapı Kredi CEO Faik Açıkalın said the bank increased its revenue by 41 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period of 2015, noting that they had begun to harvest the yields of their efforts at ensuring cost efficiency.

Stretched capital levels have long been a nagging concern for investors at UniCredit, as its capital adequacy ratio is around 10.8 percent, which is adequate in line with the Basel III rules but lower than the desired level among investors for a European bank, which is 12 percent. 

As such, there have been reports that the lender is set to sell $9 billion in assets to reach the 12 percent threshold.