Officials from one of the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) largest banks, Emirates NBD, said Turkey has all of the qualities they were looking for while ranking potential markets.
The country's large population and further growth potential in the banking sector effected Emirates NBD's decision to purchase Denizbank, the bank's representatives said yesterday.
Russia's largest bank, state-owned lender Sberbank, agreed Tuesday to sell its entire 99.85 percent stake in Turkey's fifth-largest private bank Denizbank to Emirates NBD for TL 14.6 billion ($3.2 billion).
Meanwhile, Emirates NBD officials added that the total assets of the banking group stood at about $129.5 billion by March 2018.
Emirates NBD banking group is an important player in corporate and retail banking in the UAE and has been operating actively in areas such as Islamic banking, private banking and asset management. Emirates NBD has 230 branches worldwide and has operations in the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India, Singapore and the United Kingdom and representatives in China and Indonesia.
"Last year, the bank's profit rose by 15 percent to $2.3 billion, while its asset size grew by 5 percent compared to the previous year. We believe in the long-term potential of Turkey and therefore invest in the long term," the officials said. "With a growth rate above 7 percent in 2017, Turkey's economy showed a very good performance. Economists expect Turkey's economic growth to be around 3-4 percent in 2018 and this is also directing our investments."
The bank's officials said Denizbank carry out an effective strategy in Turkey, stressing that they will continue to grow in accordance with the bank's proven success model.
Noting that with the purchase in question the cooperation between Turkey and the UAE in the fields of trade finance, cash management, corporate and investment banking and asset management will develop, the officials said Denizbank also has experienced banking and information staff, which will provide Emirates NBD with the opportunity to benefit from post-purchase human resources synergy. On the other hand, Sberbank CEO German Gref stated that they had to sell Denizbank due to sanctions. "We cannot provide financing for our bank. We cannot get money from the market. If it were not for sanctions, we would never get out of this sector," Gref said.
Speaking to Russian news channel Rossiya 24, he noted that they had to reduce the enlargement strategy they carried out in the international arena because of the sanctions. "We removed Denizbank from U.S. sanctions, but now it is under European sanctions, which reduces Denizbank's competitiveness in the Turkish market. However, they are getting very good results," Gref said.