3/1/2012

Bank Audi sets the example, more Arab banks on way to Turkey

Hurriyet Daily News - Bank Audi, the Lebanon-based lender, which has become the first foreign lender to receive a Turkish license in 11 years, will be followed by other Arab banks eyeing entry into the local market, according to the Head of the Union of Arab Banks.

“I assume there will be more banks looking for chances in the Turkish market,” Secretary General of the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) Wissam H. Fattouh said yesterday, while speaking to Hurriyet Daily News on the sidelines of the Arab-Turkish Banking and Financial Forum in Istanbul.

“Some Arab banks have shown great interest in the Turkish banking sector,” said Fattouh, noting that lenders have been encouraged by the license granted to Bank Audi last year. The Turkish government also wants to license more Arab banks, according to him. “Turkey ranks as one of the best places to operate, especially after the crisis in the United States and Europe,” he added.

Cooperating with Turkish banks, Arab lenders can also invest in third countries, particularly in Africa, according to Elhadi Chaibainou, an executive committee member of UAB, which represents Morrocan banks. Moroccan banks are ready for such partnerships with Turkish lenders, he told the audience at the event.

Turkey’s trade volume with Arab countries has peaked at USD 34 billion in five years, from USD 5 billion, said Hüseyin Aydın, Chairman of The Banks Association of Turkey, noting that seven Arab banks were operating in Turkey today, with a total asset volume of USD 24 billion.
Turkey; financial services sector; Turkish finance market; foreign banks turkey; bank audi; bank odea