9/17/2008

Akbank to look at Halkbank sale

Reuters - Akbank, Turkey's second largest listed bank by assets, said it will look at the sale of privatisation candidate Halkbank if it offers the right asset mix but the family-run firm is not considering foreign buys. Partly state-owned Turkish Halkbank, which has a market capitalisation of $6.7 billion, is slated for privatisation once market conditions improve, possibly in 2008. Akbank Chairwoman and Managing Director Suzan Sabanci Dincer told Reuters that the company's focus was on organic growth in the domestic market over coming years, particularly in retail business. Turkey is still experiencing strong growth in the sector despite a global slowdown sparked by the U.S. housing crisis. Turkey's top banks are also better positioned than European peers as they focused on shoring up their balance sheets and domestic positions following a deep financial crisis in 2001.