Aksam – The Italian lender Intesa Sanpaolo has opened its first branch in Istanbul, Turkey. To focus solely on corporate banking, Intesa Sanpaolo will mainly provide support for Italian companies doing business in Turkey.
“Intesa Sanpaolo’s branch opening in Istanbul is an entry to a very important market lying on a critical trade and investment junction between Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Backed by the synergy created by our banking institutions in Italy and other countries, the newly established Turkish branch will widen Intesa Sanpaolo’s know-how to better provide Italian, Turkish, and third companies with customized solutions,” according to Gaetano Miccichè, Head of Intesa Sanpaolo’s Corporate and Investment Banking Division.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chief Economist of Intesa Saopaolo Gregorio de Felice said that Italy stood as Turkey’s third largest trade partner, with a 6.5-percent share. “Turkey is planning to invest significantly in its railway, highway, port, airport, energy infrastructure, and urban transformation projects. Italian companies that have invested in Turkey not only enjoy reduced costs but also find home in a regional center with strategic reach to nearby markets,” he noted, adding that the Turkish government was working towards reducing the red tape and further improving the business climate in the country.
Another Italian banking company, UniCredit, is active as a shareholder in Turkey’s Yapi Kredi Bank, the country’s fourth largest. There are around 1,200 Italian companies in Turkey as of the end of 2014, with bilateral trade hovering around USD 20 billion.