Business / Companies

China's banking giant takes over Turkish lender

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-26 09:32

ISTANBUL - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC), world's largest bank, said on Monday that it completed the acquisition of 75.5 percent stake in Tekstilbank from Turkish GSD Holding, making it the first business institution operated by a Chinese bank in the country.

The announcement was made by Jiang Jianqing, chairman of ICBC, at an official inauguration ceremony in Ciragan Palace, which was attended by Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan.

Jiang said the acquisition serves as an important milestone in financial cooperation between China and Turkey, and pledged that ICBC will provide better financial services to major enterprises in Turkey.

"The acquisition of Tekstilbank further complements ICBC's international footprint. The transaction will also enhance ICBC's service capability for customers from both countries, thereby promoting local economic development," according to a statement issued by the Chinese lender.

Before the ceremony, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Jiang and expressed his congratulations upon the acquisition, saying that Turkey and China will boost cooperation in various sectors including economy, finance, energy and infrastructure.

ICBC will also make a tender offer for the remaining shares of Tekstilbank, held by public shareholders, in accordance with the nation's regulatory requirements.

"China and Turkey already have extensive cooperation in areas like high-speed railway, electricity, aerospace and satellites. Turkey has also become an important overseas engineering, procurement and construction market for Chinese enterprises," said the statement.

"The establishment of the Silk Road Economic Belt, coupled with Turkey's becoming a prospective founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, will further broaden the scope of cooperation between the two countries in developing infrastructure projects," it added.

At present, China is Turkey's third largest trading partner and second largest importing country. According to the long-term trade target set by the governments of China and Turkey, bilateral trade balance is expected to exceed $100 billion by 2020.

The ICBC, headquartered in Hong Kong and Shanghai, leads the global banking industry in capital base, total assets, market capitalization, deposits, loans, and number of clients. US Forbes magazine has recently ranked ICBC at the top of the Global 2000 list, a position taken by the bank for the third consecutive year.

"ICBC has established a global network of approximately 400 overseas institutions providing superior services to 42 countries and regions. In addition, ICBC has a coverage of 20 African countries through its 20 percent strategic equity investment in Standard Bank of South Africa," said the ICBC statement.

Tekstilbank is a licensed depository bank in Turkey, mainly engaging in banking operations for small and medium-sized enterprises and retailing. It also provides securities brokerage, investment banking and assets management services through its subsidiary Tekstil Securities.

"Tekstilbank has sound business fundamentals and local operating capability with 44 branches and around 900 employees. Its branches are located in Turkey's most economically developed regions, which together account for approximately 70 percent of Turkey's GDP," according to the statement.

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