Mashreq 'may be interested in Denizbank'
Dubai, October 24, 2011
Mashreq Bank, Dubai's second-largest lender by market value, may be interested in Turkey's Denizbank if the price is right, Mashreq's chief executive Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair was reported by Turkey's Sabah newspaper as saying.
Qatar National Bank, the Gulf state's largest lender, is also eyeing Denizbank, the fast-growing Turkish arm of euro zone debt casualty Dexia, in a deal potentially worth up to $6 billion.
"We are in Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt and Nepal but we are not in growing Turkey. We have been interested in Turkey for a long time. Denizbank could be an opportunity," Sabah quoted Mashreq's Al Ghurair as saying at a World Economic Forum meeting in Amman.
"The prices of banks in Turkey are a bit high. If an appropriate price is put to us we could buy it," he was reported as saying. Mashreq Bank was not immediately available for comment.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is evaluating strategic options for Denizbank. Sberbank , Russia's No.1 lender, has also said it was looking at the bank as a potential acquisition target but had yet to begin talks.
Bankers said Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy's largest retail lender, was another potential bidder. Chief executive Corrade Passera has said there was "nothing on the table" on the subject.
They also said Turkish group Akbank could be a candidate but were sceptical about interest from other domestic banks. International interest was expected to include HSBC. - Reuters