Qatar National Bank (QNB) agreed on Tuesday to acquire Turkish Finansbank, the Qatari bank said in a statement.
QNB will purchase the shares in Finansbank owned by the National Bank of Greece (NBG) -- the Greek bank holds a 99.81 percent stake in the Turkish bank -- for 2.7 billion euros ($2.94 billion), the statement said.
"The deal is important in the sense that it shows interest in the Turkish banking sector is still alive. We expect this interest will continue in future," pointed out Fatih Tugrul Topac, an analyst at TEB investment bank, in an interview with Anadolu Agency.
QNB, the largest bank in the Gulf region, plans to finance the deal with its own funds, and expected to close the deal in the first half of next year. But the agreement will be subject to regulatory approval.
"We find the acquisition of Finansbank by QNB to be a very positive development for the Turkish banking sector and Turkish economy in general," commented Idil Kural, a partner and head of Transaction Advisory Services at EY Turkey in Istanbul, in an interview with Anadolu Agency.
"It demonstrates that the medium- to long-terms prospects of the banking sector are still strong, despite the recent deterioration trend in profitability. Finansbank, with its consolidated asset size of $30 billion, network of almost 650 branches, significant presence in retail banking, provides a strong and sizeable entry point to the Turkish market for a player like QNB who has a strong vision of regional growth," Kural said.
Kural explained that he understood, from what has been disclosed, that the pricing of the transaction does not include a significant discount to Finansbank's book value. "We also view this positively," she added.
For NBG, which bought the Turkish lender for about $5 billion in 2006, the funds from the sale are intended to be used for the recapitalization of the Greek bank, along with funds expected under the terms of the Greek government's bailout agreement with its European creditors.
Finansbank reported 504 million Turkish lira ($178 million) in profit in the first half of 2015.
By Bahattin Gönültaş
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