April 2, 2015

Kaynak demands return of shares seized by watchdog

Turkish conglomerate Kaynak Holding, one of the largest shareholders of Islamic lender Bank Asya, has called on the country's banking watchdog to give back its seized bank shares.

Turkey's Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) said on March 4 that the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) had seized the Class-A shares of publishing company Sürat Basım and construction firm Forum İnşaat because of a lack of authorization from the BDDK in the January sale of their parent company, Kaynak Holding, to a Dutch firm. However, the watchdog seems to have disregarded its own ruling made during internal correspondence within the institution. Kaynak had been holding 6.47 percent of the bank's shares before it transferred all its shares to the Netherlands-based INL Partners B.V. The BDDK statement said only Class-A shares were seized, but did not specify the size of the holding.

In a written statement on Thursday, Kaynak said the BDDK decision contradicted the laws regulating the banking industry and demanded its “shares be returned as soon as possible”. The BDDK decision earlier in March came immediately after international ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) had warned that incidents surrounding Turkey's Bank Asya, which ended in its management takeover by regulators in early 2015, showed the potential for political risks to spill over into the financial system.

Kaynak Holding has previously said it would take legal action against the BDDK's action.

Published on Today's Zaman, 02 April 2015, Thursday