Dubai’s biggest lender Emirates NBD has agreed to buy Turkey’s Denizbank from Russian state-owned Sberbank for $3.2 billion in an effort to establish itself as a leading bank in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.
Gulfnews.com reported that “Emirates NBD said on Tuesday it has entered into a definitive agreement to buy 99.85 per cent stake in Denizbank from Sberbank for 14.6 billion Turkish Lira ($3.2 billion), in a Dubai-based bank’s largest overseas acquisition, boosting its shares by 8 per cent.”
The Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Emirates NBD, Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, said that “Through this transaction, Emirates NBD will establish itself as a leading bank in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region and achieve meaningful diversification of its operations, both in new countries and in a broad range of business segments.”
On the Turkish side, Denizbank’s CEO, Hakan Ateş has said that “Our top management will remain. Our name will also remain the same. One of the requests of Emirates NBD was to keep the top management the same”, hurriyetdailynews.com reads.
Reuters news agency reports that “Denizbank is the fifth-largest private bank in Turkey and the biggest asset held by Sberbank outside Russia. The sale is part of a strategy by Russia’s top lender to divest overseas businesses to focus on its domestic market.”
In a hazy and uncertain time for Turkey’s social, political and economic ‘pages’ this transaction comes “against a backdrop” of the country’s “strained relations with Gulf states since Ankara stood by Qatar after the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and others accused Doha of supporting terrorism, a charge it denies”; so, it might give an edge to Turkey and the NBD itself and solidify a strong future economical coalition…. / IBNA