Leading Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya has decided to sell its stakes in two subsidiaries for TL 132 million ($62 million), the bank said on Wednesday.
In a statement to Borsa İstanbul (BIST), Bank Asya said it is selling a 24.18 percent stake in Turkish construction firm Tuna Gayrimenkul for TL 62.8 million. The bank also said it is selling another construction company, Nil Yönetim Hizmetleri, for TL 69.25 million. The bank owned all shares in Nil. At the beginning of June, the bank said it planned on selling its subsidiaries. The move comes amid efforts of Bank Asya to raise capital.
In related international deals Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) said in March that it had entered into exclusive talks to buy a stake in Asya without giving further details except to say that it hoped to conclude the deal within the next few months. On Wednesday Reuters cited four sources close to the matter as saying that QIB and Bank Asya have ended exclusive talks over QIB acquiring a stake in the Turkish lender, with valuation concerns said to be behind the decision.
Turkish state bank Ziraat may now be the most likely partner for Bank Asya, but the two banks have not officially begun talks, three of the sources told Reuters.
"Talks with QIB have finished. Bank Asya has been going through tough times since Dec. 17. They are in talks with Ziraat," one source close to the deal said. It was not clear what size stake had been under discussion. The Qatari lender didn't respond to a request for comment. Bank Asya and Ziraat also declined to comment.
The talks with QIB faltered after the banks failed to agree on a price, the sources said. Turkish banks are a natural target as Qatari banks expand overseas, but price has become a highly sensitive issue after the state's second-biggest bank by assets, the Commercial Bank of Qatar, was seen overpaying last year to acquire a 70.8 percent stake in Turkey's Alternatifbank.
Published on Today's Zaman, 02 July 2014, Wednesday