Turkey aims at luring foreign investment from Gulf region

The second International Investment Summit held in Istanbul between April 29-30 gathered international investment funds and investors from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, in total managing about 1.5 trillion dollars of Gulf investment funds. Turkey’s Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri I??k stated that Turkey is making huge efforts to facilitate foreign investments over the last decade, both for encouraging them to make joint ventures with the domestic firms and also investing jointly in third countries. Last year, Turkey has attracted about six billion U.S. dollars of foreign direct investment, while the country aims to reach 80 billion U.S. dollars annually.

Good News and Bad News with ‘the Donald Trump of Turkey’

Turkey is a test-tube study in how emerging market (EM) countries reach developed status. As such, it is subject to the interactions between developed and emerging markets, including hot money capital flows, currency wars and the struggles with interest rate policy and inflation. The good news is that the banking system is functioning well and inflation is contained. The bad news is that Turkish financial markets are now subject to many of the adverse trends affecting all EM economies around the world. The central bank is under pressure from politicians to cut interest rates and devalue the Turkish currency to promote exports and tourism.

Bank Asya bonds languish even as control bets lift shares

Speculation that the Turkish government may be closer to relinquishing control of Bank Asya has stoked its stock to a record gain. Bondholders proved harder to please. Shares of the Istanbul-based lender soared more than 50% after it said most Class-A holders provided documentation to the regulator proving they’re qualified to be founding partners. The bank’s Islamic bond climbed about 3% to 61.474 cents on the dollar in the week of April 12. Government control is considered positive for bondholders. The bank’s Islamic bond due March 2023 jumped 38%, the most on record, when Turkey’s agency responsible for resolving failed banks seized control in February as investors bet authorities wouldn’t let the lender default.

Kuveyt Turk sells debut ringgit sukuk, applies for 1 bln lira deal

Turkish participation bank Kuveyt Turk has sold a debut deal of ringgit-denominated sukuk and has applied for a new 1 billion lira ($376 million) deal, as the lender looks to secure lower-cost financing. Kuveyt Turk, 62 percent owned by Kuwait Finance House , will sell the lira-denominated deal to qualified investors via its asset-leasing company, KT Kira Sertifikalari Varlik Kiralama. The ringgit five-year sukuk pays an annual yield of 5.8 percent, with the proceeds swapped into dollars to reduce the bank's funding costs to 4.4 percent. The 300 million ringgit sukuk is first issuance under a 2 billion ringgit programme.

Bank Asya Extends Rally on Optimism Government May Cede Control

Bank Asya climbed to the highest in seven months, extending last week’s record rally, amid optimism the lender may be released from government management. Shares in the company advanced 3.8 percent to 1.09 liras at 3:39 p.m. in Istanbul, the highest level since September. Bank Asya has gained more than 60 percent since April 9, when it said 152 shareholders, representing about 90 percent of Class A shares, delivered documents to the banking regulator proving they’re qualified to be founding partners. Bank Asya has been trading in a markets watchlist since September. Companies on the list trade under conditions of heightened surveillance, and trading is limited to the afternoon only.

Turkish deputy PM promotes Islamic finance at IMF meeting

Turkey, as the chair of G20 group, promotes Islamic finance because it offers additional financial instruments with less uncertainty and shared risks, according to the country’s deputy prime minister Ali Babacan. His comments were made during a panel discussion at the annual spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group in Washington. Islamic finance is safer, according to Babacan, who cited the 2000 and 2009 financial crises. Also for regulation purposes, macro credential purposes, it is considered as a less risky kind of financing means, he added. The more countries develop stronger legal frameworks to support Islamic finance, the more attention the system would get as issuers and investors who are sensitive to Islamic rules participate in the structure.

Bank Asya shares jump by 42 percent following announcement

The value of the shares in Bank Asya have jumped 41.8 percent following a recent announcement by the bank saying documents belonging to 90 percent of privileged shareholders have been sent to the banking watchdog. The bank's shares were priced at TL 0.95 on Turkey's stock exchange, Borsa ?stanbul (B?ST), at 4 p.m. on Thursday. Thursday's reading was 76 percent higher than the historic low of TL 0.54, recorded in September 2014. The interim board established by the TMSF after the takeover announced on April 9 that 152 out of 185 privileged shareholders had submitted their documents to the BDDK. Since that day, Bank Asya shares have risen by 41.8 percent, strengthening shareholders' hand in their bid to take back the management of the bank.

Turkey's Alkhair Capital plans expansion, eyes Islamic bond advisory

Turkish Islamic asset manager Alkhair Capital plans to launch new funds this year and will start a service to advise on Islamic bonds, its general manager Ali Ilhan said. Alkhair Capital, majority-owned by Bahrain's Bank Alkhair, is the only full-fledged Islamic investment firm in the country, with AZ Global and BMD Securities offering some sharia-compliant products of their own. Last month, the firm raised its capital to 5 million lira ($1.86 million) from 2 million lira, to meet new capital requirements coming into force in July, a move that will also help fuel its expansion drive.

Istanbul to host G20/OECD Corporate Governance Forum

Representatives from G20 and OECD countries will meet in Istanbul on Friday to discuss how companies can avoid too much risk. The G20/OECD Corporate Governance Forum will consider sound corporate organization, safer financial markets, and well-regulated financial systems in emerging markets. The Forum will also address issues of systemic importance to sustainable private sector growth, including the institutionalisation of growth companies and capital market development in emerging market economies. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, a key figure responsible for the economy is scheduled to make the opening speech at the event.

Former CB governor: Bank Asya is strong, nation will suffer if gov’t sinks it’

Former central bank governor Durmu? Y?lmaz, who is running for Parliament in the June 7 general election on the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) ticket, has criticized the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government over its efforts to sink Bank Asya, claiming that the bank is strong and that it will be the nation that suffers most if the bank is destroyed. Y?lmaz said the public authority would have the duty of taking necessary action if Bank Asya had been involved in any wrongdoing; however, he said no clear or concrete mistakes, allegedly committed by the bank, have been revealed so far.

Turkey's Islamic banks turn to Malaysia to cut costs

Turkey's Islamic banks are turning to Malaysia to cut costs as stubbornly high interest rates and slow trading hamper development of the domestic Turk?sh sukuk market. Kuveyt Türk Kat?l?m Bankas? A? plans to offer a five-year bond this week via private placement from a 2 billion ringgit ($539 million) sukuk program. Türkiye Finans Kat?l?m Bankas? A? was the first Turkish bank to sell the debt in Malaysia last year, issuing similar-maturity securities at a coupon of 6 percent. It paid 15.2 percent for a 2017 lira-denominated sukuk. Corporates from Indonesia and France are also coming to Malaysia to raise funds.

Turkish Islamic lender bank Bank Asya records loss of 877 million lira in 2014

Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya swung to a net loss of 877 million liras ($336 million) in 2014 on shrinking loans and deposits. The bank, in which Turkish banking regulators seized a small stake last week over an alleged illegal share sale, had reported a net profit of 180.6 million liras in 2013. Loan loss provisions amounted to 1.45 billion liras in 2014, almost half of which came in the final quarter, the bank said. Bank Asya wrote off 943 million worth of loans in 2014. Loans and deposits contracted 24 percent and 12 percent respectively in the fourth quarter.

Turkiye Finans, Zorlu Energy get regulator's nod for sukuk

Turkey's Capital Markets Board has approved issuance of ringgit-denominated Islamic bonds by Turkiye Finans Katilim Bankasi and a debut lira-denominated deal by Zorlu Energy. Islamic lender Turkiye Finans will raise up to 2.05 billion ringgit ($553.7 million) via sukuk, issued by its wholly-owned unit TF Varlik Kiralama. Separately, Zorlu Energy received approval to raise 100 million lira ($38.4 million) via sukuk. So far the bulk of sukuk issuance has come from the government and the country's four Islamic banks. Islamic lender Kuveyt Turk also plans to issue a debut sukuk in the Malaysian market, through a 2 billion ringgit programme.

Bank Asya lawyers to legally challenge state-body MASAK

Bank Asya’s lawyer Süleyman Ta?ba? vows to challenge the Finance Ministry's Financial Crimes wing (MASAK) and the banking regulator calling for return of shares. Acting upon information that the Finance Ministry's Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) was engaged in concocting a report that would cast negative light on publicly-traded Bank Asya, Süleyman Ta?ba? has filed a letter to MASAK stating that only the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) and the Capital Markets Board (SPK) had authority. Adding that the incident constituted to an unconstitutional profiling of Bank Asya the lawyer vowed to defend the rights of the shareholders.

S&P: Bank Asya will not affect ratings of Turkey

According to Standard & Poor's (S&P), the replacement of Bank Asya's management and upcoming general elections do not create risks for the banking industry. The international rating agencies' ratings for Turkey are not affected by the decision by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency's (BDDK) in regards to the seizure of Bank Asia. S&P futher noted that the bank's share in the banking system was only around 0.1 percent and therefore does not create any systematic risk for the banking sector. Moreover, Turkey's banking system is being positively affected by geopolitical developments with Turkish banks benefiting from what is happening in Russia and Ukraine.

Turkey's Bank Asya posts $336 mln net loss in 2014

Islamic lender Bank Asya has posted a net loss of 877 million lira ($335.58 million). The bank, in which Turkish banking regulators seized a small stake last week over an alleged illegal share sale, had posted a net profit of 180.6 million lira in 2013. Bank Asya has been battered by President Tayyip Erdogan's attempts to wipe out Gulen's religious movement, which he accuses of attempting to build a "parallel state". Regulators last month took over the bank's management after the government said it failed to meet some legal criteria.

UPDATE 2-Turkey's watchdog seizes Bank Asya stake

Turkish banking regulators on Wednesday seized a small stake in the Islamic lender Bank Asya over an alleged illegal share sale. The banking watchdog said in a statement on Wednesday that Turkey's Savings Deposit Insurance Fund had seized preferred shares in Bank Asya held by a publishing company and a construction firm, citing irregularities in the sale of their parent company, Kaynak Holding, to a Dutch firm in January. The watchdog said that only preferred shares had been seized, but did not specify the size of that holding. The announcement came just hours after the ratings agency Standard & Poor's warned that actions against Bank Asya illustrated "the potential for political risk, or the perception of it, to directly or indirectly spill over into the financial system".

Precautions for Bank Asya

The Saving Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF), which has seized Bank Asya, has determined the details of a precautions package. The bank will not be able to open new branches due to uncertainties in its liquidity structure. With the seizure by the TMSF, loan allocation and tracking processes and procedures will be improved. The new management assigned to the bank is striving first to preserve the current business and recover its customer portfolio. The information and documents submitted by the shareholders after the TMSF seized Bank Asya are currently being examined. Furthermore, criminal and judicial lawsuits will be filed against the previous management, which signed agreements that resulted in bad debt.

Turkey's Vakifbank to launch Islamic unit

Turkey's third-largest state bank Vak?fbank has received regulatory approval Tuesday from the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency to establish an Islamic banking division. Vak?fbank will be allowed to set up a stand-alone Islamic unit capitalized at $300 million. After the approval, the bank has nine months to establish its banking unit according to Turkish law. Shareholders of the new Islamic bank will include Turkish Directorate General of Foundations, Bayezid Han-? Sani (II. Bayezid) Vakf?, Mahmud Han-? Evvel bin Mustafa Han (I. Mahmud) Vakf?, Mahmud Han-? Sani bin Abdülhamid Han-? Evvel (II. Mahmut) Vakf? ve Murad Pa?a bin Abdusselam (Murat Pa?a) Foundation.

Doga to launch Turkey's first Islamic insurance product

Turkey's Doga Group plans to enter the takaful market in the coming months with what would be the country's first such product. Its Doga Sigorta insurance unit is close to signing a cooperation deal with reassurance companies such as Swiss Re and others from the Gulf and Malaysia, the unit's Chairman Nihat Kirmizi said. Kirmizi said the Doga Group wanted to take advantage of the growing interest for Islamic finance products in the largely Muslim nation. The firm will be completely ready by May, and has received verbal permits from the Treasury. He added that at least three to four other firms planned to enter the takaful insurance market by 2018.

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