National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest bank in Kuwait and the highest-rated bank in the Middle East, said on Tuesday it had acquired 40 per cent stake in Turkish Bank.
This was announced by Ibrahim S Dabdoub, CEO of NBK Group, Hamad Al Sager, Board member of NBK, Tanju Ozyol, Chairman of Turkish Bank Group and Hakan Bortecene, CEO of Turkish Bank Group, during a press conference in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Dabdoub has also been named as new Vice Chairman of Turkish Bank.
He said: “This is a significant milestone and reflects NBK’s increasing interest in the growing Turkish banking sector. NBK believes that the Turkish economy will continue its strong growt on the back of continued economic reforms, political stability and favourable demographic trends.
“Turkey is a country with great growth and investment opportunities in all sectors and I am glad to see Turkey accelerating the pace of its privatisation programme. We, in the GCC, should seize this opportunity. It is the time for Turkey to be closer to the Gulf,” added Dabdoub.
Turkey sold $40 billion (Dh147bn) worth of assets to international investors from 2004 to 2007, five times the amount from 1985 to 2002.
Turkey has attracted foreign direct investments (FDI) of $42bn over the last two years.
Gulf investors are already an important source of FDI, accounting for at least 25 per cent of the total.
Dabdoub said: “Recently we shifted plans to expand our presence in the region. The acquisition of Egypt’s Al Watany Bank, the acquisition of a 40 per cent stake in Turkish Bank, and the increase of our ownership stake in the International Bank of Qatar to 30 per cent, signal our determined commitment to regional expansion.”
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