Emirates NBD to buy Turkey bank

Emirates NBD could agree to buy Turkey’s Denizbank within weeks, after intense lobbying by the Turkish bank to convince President Tayyip Erdogan of the benefits of the potential $5.3 billion deal.
Dubai’s biggest bank, Emirates NBD said it was in preliminary talks to buy Denizbank from Russia’s Sberbank in January, but the plan has met resistance from Erdogan. While Erdogan does not have direct control over Turkey’s banks, the president could potentially block any deal by telling the country’s BDDK banking watchdog not to approve it.
Repeated efforts by Denizbank’s chief executive to persuade Erdogan of the case for the takeover illustrate the president’s important role in sealing major deals in Turkey. Although it still requires approval, the deal is expected to be agreed in the next few weeks. The BDDK did not respond to a request for comment. “I’m not saying this deal will fall through, but it wouldn’t be realistic to say these developments are supportive of the negotiations,” one senior official in Ankara said.
Emirates NBD, Sberbank and Denizbank all declined to comment, as did Erdogan’s office. Denizbank Chief Executive Hakan Ates has met Erdogan and other senior officials in Ankara over the past month in an attempt to convince them that the deal would be positive for Turkey’s banking system.
Denizbank is Turkey’s ninth-largest lender by assets, making it a relatively small player in a fast-growing market. Sberbank, which is selling Denizbank as part of a broader regional strategy shift, paid around $3.5 billion for it in 2012.

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