HSBC is set to agree to sell its Turkish business to Dutch lender ING Group for around $700-$750 million in the next few days, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
ING, which already has a presence in Turkey, was one of three banks to submit a non-binding bid in May, sources previously told Reuters. The others were Bahrain's Arab Banking Corp and France's BNP Paribas. HSBC declined to comment.
As of today, it takes $300 million to obtain permits and a banking license to enter Turkey's highly competitive banking market, therefore if sealed; the deal will be highly lucrative for ING.
ING Turkey currently has 319 branches throughout Turkey and employs more than 6,250 people, whereas HSBC Turkey employs 5,536 people in 291 branches. The two banks total assets are $15 billion and $12 billion respectively. When combined, the two banks could outperform Turkish affiliate of French BNP Paribas, Türkiye Ekonomi Bankası (TEB), and Denizbank, Turkish affiliate of Russian Sberbank.
Still, even if the two banks were combined, their total assets would be three times smaller than Yapı Kredi Bank ($75 billion) which is Turkey's fourth largest private bank. Yapı Kredi, along İş Bank, Garanti Bank and Akbank are among Turkey's "Big Four".
HSBC announced the sale of its Turkey and Brazil operations in May, which also included 25,000 job cuts worldwide, and reduce its global network of retail banks by 12 percent because the bank cannot keep up with the competitive system. The move had come days after the company had been hit with a $53 million fine over tax evasion.