Türkiye’s Akbank aims for 15-16 percent loan growth in 2010

Reuters - Akbank General Manager Ziya Akkurt said that the Turkish lender will target 15-16 percent loan growth in 2010, outstripping banking sector growth as a whole, which he forecast at 12-13 percent. The bank, which is Türkiye's largest company by market value and in which Citigroup has a 20 percent stake, will take a more aggressive stance next year and open 50-60 new branches, he told reporters. Türkiye's banking sector has proved highly resilient during the global downturn, benefiting from strict regulations in place since the 2001 domestic financial crisis and a lack of exposure to toxic or exotic assets. Eleven months of rate cuts by the Central Bank have also boosted Turkish banks' profits by making the cost of funding cheaper and allowing them to increase net interest income. Akbank posted a 44 percent rise in Q2 net profit.