Yeni Safak – Turkey’s efficient and highly profitable banking industry is set to continue to attract foreign investors, especially from the Gulf countries, according to Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Turkey Senior Banking Analyst, Goksenin Karagoz.
“Observing the high profits and growth potential, foreign investors see many lucrative investment opportunities in the Turkish banking industry. Despite the uncertainties in the domestic and international markets, the Turkish banking sector remains attractive”, Karagoz said.
“Banking institutions from the Gulf countries are interested in Turkish banks. The most recent example being Qatar Islamic Bank’s interest in Bank Asya. A number of Turkish banks were acquired by Gulf lenders and Odeabank, a division of Lebanese Bank Audi, set up shop in the country”, the S&P analyst said, stating that news of more acquisitions by Gulf lenders in Turkey would not come as a surprise. The Commercial Bank of Qatar, Kuwaiti Burgan, and Saudi National Commercial Bank have all made their entries into the Turkish banking market via acquisitions in recent years.
A crisis-tested financial system along with a sturdy and profitable banking sector has introduced many new lenders into Turkey in recent years. Last year, Japan’s Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) began banking operations in the country while Italian Intesa Sanpaolo was granted a banking license from the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency of Turkey (BDDK). Rabobank, the largest retail bank in the Netherlands, has also received the green light from Turkey’s banking watchdog to set up operations in the country in 2013.