Bank Asya mandates Goldman for strategic partnership


Date posted: June 11, 2014

ISTANBUL

Bank Asya said on Wednesday it has mandated Goldman Sachs as its financial advisor for a strategic partnership, without providing further details.

The Islamic lender made the announcement in a filing with the İstanbul stock exchange. Bank Asya shares traded on the Borsa İstanbul (BIST) were down 3.5 percent on Wednesday.

In March, the Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) said it had entered into exclusive talks to buy a stake in Bank Asya without giving further details except to say it hoped to conclude the deal within the next few months.

Bank Asya also said last week it mandated its management to possibly sell its subsidiaries.

The bank was earlier targeted by government officials who claim alleged irregularities in the bank. The government has however failed to prove these allegations.

In January, Interior Minister Efkan Ala claimed on a state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) TV program, without naming names, that he had “solid evidence” that a bank had bought up dollars from the market a few days before police raids on a Dec. 17 corruption and bribery investigation, and made a profit of over $2 billion when the price of the dollar hiked after the inquest.

Ala’s remarks were widely interpreted as a reference to Bank Asya, affiliated with the Hizmet movement, which is inspired by respected Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has tried to make the Hizmet movement the scapegoat via conspiracy theories to evade attention stemming from the corruption allegations.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sinan Aygün had earlier submitted a question addressed to Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan in Parliament, asking if Ala’s statements were true.

Responding to claims on Tuesday in a written statement, Babacan said: “$750 million was sold by the central bank during the period of Dec. 7-17, 2013 in transactions with 23 market participant banks, and $4 billion was sold from Dec. 17-31, 2013 in transactions with 24 market participant banks. The central bank conducts foreign currency transactions only with market participant banks, not with private persons, firms or companies.”

Babacan did not give any details of the transactions and banks in the mentioned period as they are deemed confidential according to the Banking Law.

Source: Cihan , June 11, 2014


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