Bank Asya takeover to have limited impact on Turkey's banking sector: Fitch

Published 03.06.2015 21:06
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International credit rating agency Fitch has said Turkey's banking sector will not be significantly affected by the takeover of Bank Asya.

"The Turkish banking sector as a whole, and its participation [Islamic] banks in particular, should not be significantly affected by the transfer last Friday of control over Asya Katılım Bankası to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund," the agency said in a statement Wednesday.

The agency pointed out that Bank Asya was a relatively small part of the overall Turkish banking system, with a market share of around 1 percent, adding: "But the bank was the largest participation bank before the onset of its problems in 2014."

On May 30, Turkey's banking watchdog, Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), ruled for the takeover of Bank Asya by the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) "as a result of investigations within scope of banking law".

Fitch emphasized that Turkey's banking sector was "generally well managed".

"We regard the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency as a reasonably strong regulator," it said.

"In 2014, Asya had suffered a 50 percent outflow of deposits, accompanied by negative public statements by high-ranking government officials about the bank's financial position.

Participation banks represent around 6 percent of total banking sector assets. Turkey's three state-owned commercial banks, Ziraat Bank, Halkbank and Vakıfbank (Prime Ministry Directorate General of Foundations), are expanding into the banking sector through specialized subsidiaries. Ziraat's banking subsidiary was inaugurated in May.

Bank Asya was founded by business figures who had links with the Gülen Movement, led by U.S.-based imam Fethullah Gülen. Gülen's followers are accused of infiltrating state institutions to gain control of state mechanisms and illegal wiretapping, forgery of official documents and espionage.

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