Serrari Group

First Abu Dhabi Bank Eyes Turkish Acquisition for Overseas Growth

In a strategic move to expand its international footprint, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the UAE’s largest lender, is considering potential acquisitions in Turkey. Sources close to the matter revealed that FAB is currently exploring various targets in Turkey, including Yapi Ve Kredi Bankasi, the seventh-largest lender in the country by assets.

Reports from Bloomberg suggest that FAB has initiated discussions with the owners of several Turkish banks, with a particular focus on Yapi Kredi, valued at $7.6 billion and part of Turkey’s prominent business conglomerate, Koc Holding.

This interest from FAB comes in the wake of increased attention from UAE-based banks towards Turkish assets, spurred by diplomatic engagements between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Gulf nations in 2023. The UAE’s pledge of over $50 billion to support Turkey’s economy has further fueled investment interests from Emirati financial institutions.

Market reaction to FAB’s potential entry into the Turkish market has been positive, with shares of Yapi Kredi Bank experiencing a notable surge. However, both Koc Holding and Yapi Kredi have refrained from commenting on the developments, maintaining a cautious stance.

Daniel Takieddine, CEO Mena at BDSwiss, emphasized the significance of FAB’s move in diversifying the UAE’s economic engagements and extending its financial influence globally. He noted that FAB’s interest could pave the way for enhanced financial collaboration between the UAE and Turkey, potentially boosting investor confidence in the Turkish economy.

FAB’s pursuit of overseas expansion is in line with similar strategies adopted by its regional peers. For example, Emirates NBD’s acquisition of Turkey’s Denizbank for $2.8 billion in 2019 underscores the attractiveness of the Turkish banking sector to Gulf investors.

While FAB has faced challenges in previous international ventures, such as the proposed acquisition of EFG Hermes in Egypt in 2022, its merger with Bank Audi Egypt in June 2022 has strengthened its presence in the Arab world’s largest economy.

As discussions progress, stakeholders eagerly await further developments that could reshape the Turkish banking sector and solidify FAB’s position as a key player in the region’s financial landscape.

photo source: Google

By: Montel Kamau

Serrari Financial Analyst

8th April, 2024

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