Turkey sells seized bank to army-run enterprise
Turkey said Thursday, July 9, that it had sold a seized bank being managed by a state fund to a company run by the army as part of a tough program to clean up the ailing banking sector.
"The agreement on the sale and transfer of the shares of Sumerbank to OYAK was signed today (Thursday)," said a statement from the state fund which administers banks in receivership.
The statement said that OYAK, which is run by retired military officials, planned to merge Sumerbank with its own bank, Oyakbank, by January 2002 at the latest. Turkey's banking watchdog took Sumerbank under control in December 1999 and merged it with five other seized banks in February this year to make it more attractive to potential buyers.
Twelve banks have been placed under state control since December 1999 when parliament approved an ambitious banking bill in a bid to bring the sector into line with international norms. So far, one of the banks, Bank Ekspres, was bought by the Turkish holding company Tekfen, while another, Demirbank, is in final talks with HSBC.
Turkey, struggling with an economic crisis, agreed in May to restructure its financial sector in return for aid from the International Monetary Fund. The authorities abandoned a floating peg between the Turkish lira and the dollar in February as they sought to halt a flight of capital. The Turkish currency has since lost nearly half of its value against the dollar since then. — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)