Dubai’s Emi­rates NBD in early talks to buy Turkey’s Denizbank

Arab News - - BUSINESS -

DUBAI: Emi­rates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank, said yes­ter­day it had started ini­tial strate­gic dis­cus­sions with Rus­sia’s Sber­bank about a pos­si­ble pur­chase of Sber­bank’s stake in Turkey’s Denizbank.

Emi­rates NBD has pre­vi­ously ac­quired BNP Paribas’ Eyg­p­tian bank­ing busi­ness and has been scout­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Turk­ish bank­ing sec­tor for sev­eral years as part of its in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion.

Moscow-based Sber­bank was eval­u­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to sell its 99.85 per­cent hold­ing in the Turk­ish lender, Reuters re­ported on Mon­day, cit­ing sources, adding that banks from the Gulf, in­clud­ing Emi­rates NBD, and China were among those in­ter­ested.

Sber­bank, Rus­sia’s big­gest bank by as­sets, bought Denizbank in 2012 for around $3.5 bil­lion as it was try­ing to es­tab­lish a pres­ence abroad.

In a state­ment on Tues­day, Emi­rates NBD said the talks were at a very pre­lim­i­nary stage and there was no cer­tainty that any trans­ac­tion would be com­pleted, adding that a fur­ther an­nounce­ment would only be made if there was a ma­te­rial de­vel­op­ment.

The bank said it rou­tinely eval­u­ated po­ten­tial op­por­tu­ni­ties in dif­fer­ent mar­kets.

Emi­rates NBD com­pleted the ac­qui­si­tion of BNP Paribas’ Egyp­tian as­sets in 2013.

The bank, which ear­lier this month posted a 17 per­cent rise in fourth-quar­ter net profit, said at the time it was plan­ning to con­tinue its in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion in 2018.

Af­ter open­ing its first branch in In­dia in 2017, the bank said in 2018 it would ex­pand its branch net­work in Egypt and Saudi Ara­bia and open a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice in Turkey.

NBD’s fo­cus on Turkey is part of the bank’s global ex­pan­sion plans. (Reuters)

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