Foreign banks line up for Istanbul Finance Center

Zaman – Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and Urbanization is dealing with renewed interest from foreign banking institutions seeking to secure a place in the Istanbul Finance Center (IFC), after Turkey’s Central Bank, along with the head offices of the country’s governing bodies of financial markets and state-owned banks, became involved in the project.

The construction works for the complex located in Istanbul’s Atasehir district are already underway as lenders from the UK, the Middle East and the Far East are applying to the Ministry for office space to take part in the region’s rising financial services hub. At its core, the IFC complex will span over 2,500,000 square meters of land, comprising office space, residences, a conference hall, a shopping mall and a hotel.

“Foreign banks from the Middle Eastern and the Far Eastern countries are inquiring about available plots and pricing in the IFC project. Among them is the Islamic Development Bank. Having foreseen the interest, the applications are being evaluated by the Ministry and we are ready to meet the demand.”, an official from the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization was quoted as saying.

State-owned banks Ziraat Bank, Halk Bank, Vakifbank, alongside governing bodies of the finance sector such as the Central Bank of Turkey, Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) and the Capital Markets Board (SPK) will be partially or completely relocated to the IFC when the first stage of the construction is completed in 2016.

Home to over half of the foreign companies operating in Turkey, Istanbul accounted for more than half of Turkey’s exports last year. The city’s surging trade is backed by a vibrant financial market, considered to be one of the best among emerging countries.

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