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LENDER TO BUY 75PC STAKE

CBQ eyes Turkish bank deal by March

Doha, January 18, 2013

Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ), the country's third-largest bank by market value, said it expects to complete the purchase of a 75 per cent stake in Turkey's Alternatifbank by the end of March.

The Qatari lender began talks in December with Anadolu Holding to acquire the stake, the latest example of Gulf lenders looking outside their home market for acquisition targets.

Alternatifbank has a current market value of $570 million, meaning the stake would cost the Qatari bank $427.5 million at market price.

The London stock exchange statement follows comments from Anadolu Holding Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan earlier this week, which said a deal should be completed by March 15.

CBQ's statement was issued to the London stock exchange, where it has depositary receipts listed.

Recent Qatari banks' strong interest in Turkey is likely to stem from the desire to diversify out of their home country's narrow economy, coupled with the lack of potential acquisitions in the Gulf region, Fitch Ratings said in a Jan 14 note.

Qatar National Bank, the country's largest lender, is interested in expanding into Turkey through acquisitions, its chief financial officer said on Wednesday, but had no firm targets currently.

It had bid for Denizbank bank last year but lost out to Russia's Sberbank in the process.

Alternatifbank shares rose 2.5 per cent on the Istanbul stock exchange on Thursday. The shares have more than doubled in the last three months following reports of the potential stake buy.-Reuters




Tags: Turkey | Commercial Bank of Qatar | Alternatifbank |

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