UniCredit agrees deal with Koç Holding to cut stake in Yapı Kredi to below 32%

DAILY SABAH WITH REUTERS
ISTANBUL
Published 01.12.2019 17:17
Yap? Kredi Bank headquarters is pictured in Istanbul, Turkey, Feb. 3, 2016. (REUTERS)
Yap? Kredi Bank headquarters is pictured in Istanbul, Turkey, Feb. 3, 2016. (REUTERS)

Italian bank UniCredit has agreed to cut its stake in Turkey's third-largest bank, Yapı Kredi to 32%.

It has reached a deal with Yapı Kredi's Turkish owner Koç Holding to restructure the bank's ownership which was previously run by a joint venture.

According to a Koç Holding statement Saturday, Koç will buy UniCredit's 50% stake in Koç Financial Services (KFS), the joint venture which controls Yapı Kredi, to become the venture's sole owner. KFS currently owns almost 82% of Yapı Kredi.

At the same time, KFS will sell 31.93% of Yapı Kredi to UniCredit and 9.02% to Koç Holding. After the agreement, Koç Holding will hold 9.02% of the bank directly and 40.0% indirectly through KFS.

Meanwhile, UniCredit continues to directly hold 31.93% of the bank, it will no longer be invested in the joint venture KFS. The remaining 18.08% stake of the bank will continue to be traded in Borsa Istanbul.

The Milan-based bank has been invested in Yapı Kredi since 2002 when it entered the joint venture with Koç Holding in what became the first foreign partnership in Turkey's financial services industry.

Asked about a possible exit from Turkey at a quarterly earnings presentation on Nov. 7, UniCredit boss Mustier said the bank would constantly review its capital allocation across "clients, sectors and countries."

The deal with Koç Holding comes weeks after UniCredit's placement of its long-held stake in investment bank Mediobanca, which raised 785 million euros ($864.92 million).

Mustier put UniCredit's Polish unit Pekao on the block soon after his appointment and went on selling online broker FinecoBank and asset manager Pioneer.

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