Turkish group transfers $90 million to troubled bank in Romania
A Turkish business group said on Wednesday, November 22, that it would transfer $90 million (104.6 million euros) to its bank in Romania which ran into liquidity trouble earlier this month.
"The Bayindir group has sold an important part of its properties in Turkey in order to solve the liquidity problem of Banco Turco-Romana (BTR)," a statement from the group said, according to Anatolia news agency.
"The group aims at settling the problem in a short time by transferring to Romania the $90 million dollars it acquired from these sales," the statement added.
The BTR suspended payments to its clients on November 10, saying that new payment rules would be implemented for a limited period of time.
The Romanian Central Bank said BTR had had difficulties in using its resources abroad.
Bayindir said it was a victim of erroneous reports in the Turkish and Romanian media that BTR was involved in the illegal transfer of money out of Romania, which had led to a "confidence crisis".
The group said: "Account holders crowded at the BRT branches demanding to withdraw up to $20 million in cash, which put the system in difficulty."
In this atmosphere of "social panic" the assets of the bank, amounting to $300 million, had fallen to about $184 million, it added.
Bayindir said it had asked the Turkish government for support to prevent any damage on economic relations between Turkey and Romania.
"As a result the Turkish government had contacted Romanian authorities and have assured them that the problem will be solved shortly," the statement said.
BTR was established several years ago with the aim of providing financial support for Turkish entrepreneurs in Romania.
It has 70,000 clients and some 60 percent of them are companies.— (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000