The state-run Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) announced its will to acquire a bank in Turkey, stating that the acquisition would be covered through a $350 million budget. If TBI succeeds, it will have purchased a foreign bank for the first time. Turkey is the largest trade partner of Iraq.
With assets of $20 billion and trade financing-oriented operations, the state-led TBI is preparing to acquire a bank in Turkey, its largest trade partner with $8 billion in business volume.
TBI Chairman Faisal Al Haimus confirmed their attempt to acquire a bank in Turkey, saying that this would be a traditional bank rather than a participation bank. However, he avoided mentioning the name of the bank they are interested in, according to a report by the The National, a media outlet based in United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Al Haimus had made another attempt to acquire a bank in Turkey previously.
Al Haimus stated that they had suspended their plans to acquire a bank in Turkey for quite some time due to the instability of the Turkish lira, adding, "However, we are planning to acquire one as a result of lira re-achieving appreciation and stability. The bank that we want to acquire has the same expertise as us."
An acquisition will help "diversification into other markets that we think are a good fit for us because rather than going and setting up, there is an existing set-up we can benefit from," said Al Haimus.
TBI wanted to acquire a Gulf bank last year, but failed. If negotiations in Turkey prove to be successful, TBI will have purchased a foreign bank for the first time. Al Haimus said the acquisition would be financed by a $350 million budget.
The Trade Bank of Iraq made its first acquisition in its home country this year through the subscription of an Islamic lender's initial public offering.
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