Turkish bank plans to issue $300m sukuk
Istanbul, December 8, 2012
Turkey's largest Islamic lender Bank Asya plans to issue a dollar-denominated sukuk, or Islamic bond, of around $200-$300 million within the next two to three months, chief executive Abdullah Celik said.
The Islamic lender will also finalise the issuance of its lira-denominated sukuk of between 100-150m lira ($56-84m) within the next month-and-a-half, Celik said in an interview.
Turkey's Islamic banks have so far issued only two sukuks. Both were issued by Kuveyt Turk, 62 per cent owned by Kuwait Finance House, which raised a total of $450m in 2010 and 2011.
In November 2011, Bank Asya shelved a plan for a $300m, five-year sukuk issue, citing "adverse developments in international markets".
After issuing its own sukuk, Bank Asya may shift attention to underwriting Islamic bond issues for Turkish companies and is setting up a brokerage unit to advise firms, Celik said.
"We will mediate in sukuk issuances and finding partners for firms. But as Bank Asya we could also make partnerships," he said.
Bank Asya put up its insurance unit Isik Sigorta for sale in February but decided not to accept bids it received after talks with possible German and Canadian buyers, Celik said.
"We do not have to sell Isik Sigorta," he said.
He said Bank Asya expected its loans and deposits to grow 20 per cent this year and more than 18 per cent in 2013.
Its strategy would be to open more branches throughout Turkey and focus on consumer banking and loans for small and medium enterprises rather than corporate banking, Celik said.
Meanwhile, Turkey's parliament has approved a new law handing tighter control of the country's capital markets regulator to the government, a move which the opposition said would undermine the body's independence.
Existing board members of the Capital Markets Board will be removed from office and a new one named. – TradeArabia News Service
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