Officials of Commercial Bank and ABank during the event in Turkey.
Doha: Following the acquisition of a 70.84 percent stake in Turkey’s Alternatifbank (ABank) from Anadolu Endustri Holding (Anadolu) earlier this year, the Commercial Bank of Qatar has outlined its future role in the Turkish banking sector at a gala reception recently held in Istanbul, Turkey.
Attended by prominent members of the Turkish and Qatari business communities, the reception was hosted by Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Attiyah, Chairman of Commercial Bank and Tuncay Ozilhan, Chairman of Anadolu Group. Approximately 100 businessmen from Qatar and Turkey were also invited to join a networking dinner cruise aboard the Swissotel Boat on the Bosphorus. Leading businessmen had the opportunity to discuss growing links and business ties between Turkey and Qatar, and how this latest international expansion by Commercial Bank into Turkey has created a unique access point to increase investments/trade flows between both countries.
The acquisition of ABank in July from Anadolu Group represents Commercial Bank’s first investment in Turkey, and its first majority stake in another bank. Anadolu Group, one of the leading industrial conglomerates of the Turkish economy, will remain a significant shareholder and will be represented on the board. ABank is a mid-sized Turkish bank that predominantly caters for SMEs through a network of 69 nationwide branches and as of December 2012, had total assets of $4.4bn.
Speaking at the reception, Abdullah bin Khalifa said: “We are delighted with our acquisition of ABank and our continued relationship with Anadolu Group. Turkey is a key growth market for Commercial Bank and ABank represents a strategic entry-point to Turkey’s fast-expanding banking sector.” He added, “ABank is a model of efficiency and good management; it is ambitious and profitable and we believe it has the potential to be a strong contributor to the future growth of the Commercial Bank Group.”
Hussain Alfardan, Managing Director of Commercial Bank said: “ABank extends our existing regional Alliance with banks in the UAE and Oman to outside the GCC region.” He added: “Turkey has been identified as an exciting emerging market and trade between the GCC countries and Turkey is becoming increasingly active. Through ABank, we intend to capitalise on these increasing economic links to strengthen our position as one of the leading full service banks in the region.”