Unicredit plans no Turkish withdrawal

Unicredit plans no Turkish withdrawal

MILANO - Hürriyet Daily News
Unicredit plans no Turkish withdrawal

Pedestrians pass by a Yapı Kredi branch in central Istanbul. The lender is increasing the number of its branches. HDN Photo

Unicredit, the Italian partner in Turkey’s Yapı Kredi Bank, has no plans to withdraw from the Turkish market despite the ongoing crisis in its homeland, according to Roberto Nicastro, the managing director of the lender.

Responding to a question on the issue during a conference on Turkey’s position in the economic integration of Europe and the Mediterranean, Nicastro said such a move was out of the question.

“We have been facing an important economic crisis in recent years,” Nicastro said. “But Turkey rapidly oriented itself in the crisis environment.”

He added that Turkey was the sole country in which the lender continued opening new branches, adding that 2010 profits from Turkey constituted some 30 percent of Unicredit’s overall profits. The share of revenues from Turkey stands at 7 percent.

Yapı Kredi’s consolidated 2011 profits stood at 2.29 billion Turkish Liras. Its profit declined 9.7 percent to 1.86 billion liras ($1.06 billion) in 2011 from a year ago.

Yapi Kredi posted a 5 percent decline in first-quarter profits to 507 million liras.

The bank’s loans rose to 67.8 billion liras last year from 52.6 billion in 2010, and its net interest income was little changed, rising to 3.3 billion liras in 2011 from 3.2 billion a year ago, according to Reuters.

“It is easy to do business in Turkey and the banking sector is solid. We have over 10 million customers in Turkey, which is higher than the Unicredit customers in Italy and we are proud of that,” he said. “We are not considering withdrawing from Turkey or making any changes to our Turkey policies.”

The bank’s presence in Azerbaijan was also important, he said.

Yapı Kredi, the fourth largest bank trading on the Istanbul Stock Exchange (İMKB), rose 2.5 percent per share on June 11, to 3.30 liras per share, reaching its highest value since April 27.

Unicredit holds a 67.3 percent stake in Koç Finansal Hizmetler, the 81.8 percent owner of Yapı Kredi, according to the lender’s website.