Turkey's privately-owned Aktif Bank has received regulatory approval to sell up to $120 million via sukuk. Turkey has seen steady issuance of sukuk from the government and the country's Islamic banks, but corporate issuance remains rare. Aktif Bank will sell the sukuk through its asset leasing company, Aktif Bank Sukuk Varlk Kiralama. Companies can sell sukuk directly by setting up their own asset leasing companies, but the process can be onerous for smaller firms. The government has previously granted tax exemptions for lease-based sukuk, but in August it extended those incentives to all other types of sukuk contracts.
The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Aktif Bank and Ijarah Management Company (IMC) have signed a Shareholders Agreement for Joint Strategic Collaboration. Aktif Bank has entered into the Turkish leasing sector by acquiring 32% shares of Haliç Finansal Kiralama (Haliç Leasing) and is planning to primarily fund the growth of SMEs in Turkey. Haliç Leasing will be able to raise the long term funds locally and internationally via Sukuk issuances thanks to extensive knowledge of Aktif Bank on capital markets. CEO of Aktif Bank, Serdar Sümer, said that instead of increasing the number of branches, the bank focuses on diversifying its products and alternative distribution channels. CEO of ICD, Khaled Al Aboodi, said that Haliç Leasing will be the eleventh Islamic leasing company that ICD has invested.
Aktif Bank has received regulatory approval to issue 200 million lira ($91 million) in Islamic bonds. The lender will sell the sukuk to qualified investors through its asset leasing company, Aktif Bank Sukuk Varlk Kiralama. It gave no time frame for the deal. Last year, Aktif Bank helped raise a small one-year 100 million lira sukuk for construction-to-energy firm Agaoglu Group using a mudaraba structure. Besides, Turkish conglomerate Dogus Group received regulatory approval last month to raise $370 million via sukuk in what would be the first dollar-denominated corporate transaction of the kind in the country. The Capital Markets Board has outlined new regulations to allow a wider range of sukuk structures.