Turkish Islamic lenders Turkiye Finans Katilim Bankasi and Albaraka Turk have applied separately to issue Islamic bonds, according to Turkey's Capital Markets Board. Turkiye Finans has applied to raise up to 1.5 billion lira ($513.2 million) through its wholly-owned unit, TF Varlik Kiralama. No tenor or details of underlying assets were given for the deal, which could be sold as a public offering or to qualified investors. Albaraka Turk, a unit of Bahrain-based Al Baraka Banking Group, has also applied to raise up to 1 billion lira through its asset-leasing company, Bereket Varlik Kiralama. The bulk of sukuk issuance in Turkey has come from the government and the country's Islamic banks, although corporate issuance is also growing.
Turkish participation bank Albaraka Türk is set to close books for its $400m-equivalent murabaha loan next week. Albaraka Turk is expected to sign the loan in mid-September, according to a banker on the deal. The $400m-equivalent deal has one year and two year tranches in euros and dollars.
In Turkey almost all businesses are micro, small or medium-sized enterprises (MSME), and only 0.1 percent of businesses are large firms. MSME lending constitutes a significant share of banks’ lending – it was 26% of the total banks’ portfolio in 2013, including 7% extended to microenterprises, despite the naturally much smaller average loan amounts. There are several barriers preventing Turkish banks from increasing their lending to microenterprises, despite an interest in reaching further down market. One such barrier is the high level of informality and semi-formality in the micro-segment of the Turkish MSME sector. Turkey has no dedicated microfinance sector of a significant scale.
The growing number of dismissals at the recently seized Islamic lender Bank Asya has drawn a reaction from the Pak Finance Employees Union (Pak Finans-??), which announced it would file complaints against the layoffs and demand that those dismissed be reinstated. In a written statement on Friday, Pak Finans-?? said nine regional managers, 13 branch managers, two directors and 264 workers have been laid off since Feb. 3. In the latest of what the union calls politically motivated decisions, three managerial-level employees were dismissed on Wednesday, the statement read. The common denominator of those discharged from the bank is that they all refused to overlook irregularities and criminal practices that had been ordered by the managing board.
Turkey is one of the largest upper middle-income countries with a vast potential to expand financial inclusion. A closer look at the data reveals that the progress regarding account ownership among women has been paralleled by an equally steep (and frankly, perplexing) decrease of account ownership among men (from 82% to 69%). Similarly, while borrowing from a financial institution has more than quadrupled and is more than six times higher for women than it was in 2011 (albeit starting from an extremely low level of 2.4%). What can be said with some confidence, however, is that there is room for improvement, as the overall account ownership remained unchanged.
Momentum is building for economic relations between the Gulf States and Turkey, economists say. Turkey can increase the existing trade volume with the Gulf States by setting sector-based targets and by taking advantage of international conditions, according to Sedat Kutlu, an expert with the Turkish Arab Countries Businessmen’s Association. Exports and imports can open access to a broad base of businesspeople, The Economist Intelligence Unit noted in a July report that Turkey is developing as an increasingly important economic partner for the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) countries. Trade volume between Turkey and the GCC was close to $16 billion in 2014, according to EIU statistics, up from about $5 billion in 2005.
Albaraka Turk Katilim Bankasi AS mandates BC Islamic Bank (E.C.), Barwa Bank Q.S.C., Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, Emirates NBD Capital Limited, Kuwait International Bank ve Standard Chartered Bank for a murabaha syndication loan with a total initial amount of $400 million in EUR and USD currency. The loan is going to have maturity periods of 367 days and 2 years 3 days.
Kuveyt Turk has issued Sukuk totalling TRY 160 million ($58.4 million) with a tenor of 189 days. The bank said that the initial public offering attracted a record-breaking number of subscribers and is its largest issue to date. The Sukuk was issued by KT Kira Sertifikalar? Varl?k Kiralama A.?., a 100 per cent subsidiary of Kuveyt Turk, Halk Yat?r?m Menkul De?erler A.?. was the consortium lead and Bizim Menkul De?erler A.?. was the consortium partner in the issuance. Ufuk Uyan, CEO of Kuveyt Turk, said, that at the end of the maturity, the underlying assets shall be transferred back to the sourcing entity. The principal and lease yield shall be paid to the investors in one go at maturity.
Kuwait Finance House’s Turkish affiliate Kuveyt Turk has issued Sukuk totalling TRY 160 million ($58.4 million) with a tenor of 189 days. The bank said that the initial public offering attracted a record-breaking number of subscribers and is its largest issue to date. The Sukuk was issued by KT Kira Sertifikalar? Varl?k Kiralama A.?., a 100 per cent subsidiary of Kuveyt Turk, Halk Yat?r?m Menkul De?erler A.?. was the consortium lead and Bizim Menkul De?erler A.?. was the consortium partner in the issuance. The principal and lease yield shall be paid to the investors in one go at maturity. The lease certificates have a gross annual yield of 10.63 per cent.
The nonconsolidated loss of Bank Asya in the first quarter of this year was TL 5.8 million ($2.2 million), according to the income statement the bank released on the Public Disclosure Platform. The bank had made a TL 40.81 million net profit in the same period of last year. Bank Asya's net loss by the end of 2014 was TL 813 million. While the total assets of the bank were TL 23.2 billion in the first quarter of 2014, this figure decreased to TL 11.97 billion in the same period of 2015. On May 29, Turkish banking regulators approved the decision to seize all of Bank Asya's shares due to the bank's failure to fulfill its obligations despite the measures taken by Turkey's banking watchdog, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK).
Publicly traded Islamic bank Bank Asya’s owners have launched 100 cases against the seizure by regulators, with lawyer Süleyman Ta?ba? emphasizing that lawsuits can also be filed on behalf of the 18,000 shareholders corresponding to the B Group shares. Ta?ba? said that the number of cases may reach 110 with the main case file reaching 500 pages, pointing out that the B Group shareholders will also have the opportunity to file cases until the legal deadline expires in the next 35 days. The lawyer also said that a criminal complaint will be filed with the prosecutors against the bureaucrats working at the regulatory agencies who took part in the seizure of the bank and its management.
The Republic of Turkey is seeking to raise US$1.5bn from the issuance of sukuk and yen-denominated bonds this year, according to a treasury official. The sovereign, rated Baa3 by Moody's and BBB- by Fitch, is to raise around USD400m-equivalent from the yen-denominated transaction and the rest from the sukuk. The sovereign is aiming to price the sukuk in the fourth quarter of the year, and the yen-denominated deal at some point in the second half of the year, according to the official.
Kuveyt Türk will sell sukuk to qualified investors as well as to people through public offerings as part of the TL 1 billion ($373.65 million) issuance ceiling program taken from the Capital Markets Board in 2015. Therefore, the bank plans to issue TL 200 million of sukuk, which is due for 189 days after collecting demands on June 24, June 25 and June 26. Additionally, it aims to issue TL 800 million of sukuk in total by the end of 2015 to increase its resource diversity. Investors' interest in the bank's issuances valued at TL 1 billion from 2014 to 2015 and public offerings valued at TL 150 million in 2013 showed possible growth in the upcoming issuances, and this is why the bank has increased its aims.
Turkiye Finans, the largest Islamic bank in Turkey, told regulators that its chief executive Derya Gurerk had resigned from his position on Friday, an unexpected move at a time of growing competition in the sector. Executive vice president Osman Celik would take over the role temporarily, the bank said in a regulatory filing without elaborating on the departure of Gurerk, who had served on the role since 2011. Turkiye Finans, in which Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank is the largest shareholder, has a predominant focus on corporate banking and is one of four incumbent Islamic banks in the country.
Islamic financial services are one of the top priorities for Turkey’s presidency of the G20, a senior Turkish finance official said on Wednesday. Speaking at a meeting of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in Mozambique’s capital Maputo, Deputy Undersecretary of the Turkish Treasury Burhanettin Aktas said Turkey believed strongly in the vital role the Islamic finance industry had to play in infrastructure and small-medium-enterprise (SME) financing. According to Aktas, Turkey has one of the highest growth potentials for Islamic financial services among the Organization of Islamic Cooperation countries, Turkey has developed new products, established a state-owned Islamic bank and plans to open two more state-owned Islamic banks.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plans to grow Islamic banking in Turkey may be facing an uncertain future. The ruling AK Party - formerly led by Erdogan - failed to win enough seats at the general election to form a single-party government. The result was a blow to the power of the man who has driven the industry in Turkey. The vote raises the possibility of a minority administration, a coalition government or another election in the $800 billion economy. Stocks, bonds and the lira plunged the day after the vote. Turkey’s cabinet appointed Mehmet Ali Akben to head the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency in May. Akben is known to be strongly supportive of the government’s participation banking agenda. Still, political uncertainty could drag on.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said on Tuesday that Bank Asya is in the hands of the Turkish banking watchdog and its insurance fund. On May 29, Turkey's Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), the country’s banking watchdog, ruled for the complete takeover of all shares of Bank Asya by the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF). The deputy minister stressed that the BDDK and TMSF are independent organizations. Separately, Turkish stock exchange regulators on Tuesday lifted the ban on the trading of Bank Asya’s shares one day after it was halted. The bank’s shares opened at Friday’s closing prices 0.76 Turkish lira. The shares dropped to 0.69 lira, a loss of 9.21 percent.
Regulators announced on Friday they would take over the lender, saying its financial structure and management presented a threat to the financial system. Shareholders of the bank will bring charges against both the banking watchdog and Turkey's insurance deposit fund, lawyer Suleyman Ta?ba? said. The lawyer disputed that the latest regulatory action had been done to protect depositors, noting that Asya was profitable again. The editor of the Gülen-affiliated Zaman newspaper said he was concerned about further arrests and seizures of businesses with links to the cleric. Shares of Bank Asya were suspended temporarily on the Istanbul watchlist market on Monday after Friday's seizure of the bank, the Istanbul bourse said.
Turkey’s government said it plans to find a buyer for Bank Asya after completing the nationalization of the Islamic lender with the seizure of its shares on Friday. The bank may now be sold whole or in parts, according to an announcement in the Official Gazette on Saturday, which didn’t give more detail on the potential sale. Twelve months ago Goldman Sachs Inc. was hired to manage a sale. The New York bank set up exclusive talks with Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ., only for these to fall apart after Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said that the government preferred that the Istanbul-based lender be acquired by a Turkish state bank. The regulator has wide discretionary powers after a takeover, including to partially or completely transfer the bank’s assets to another bank, or sell to a third person.
Speaking in the aftermath of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency’s seizure of publicly traded Islamic lender Bank Asya, Lawyer Süleyman Ta?ba? vows that the continued illegal measures were political and illegal. He states that the unjust seizure will inevitably come to an end, even if it means going to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Ta?ba? also expressed that the takeover was an attempt to incite panic and cause a run to the bank, calling for the customers to display the same solidarity as in the aftermath of February 3 measure. Banking sector experts warn that illegal bank takeovers have cost Turkey dearly in international courts.