Turkey’s Bank Asya to sell Senagal-based Tamweel Africa Holding stake

By Ebru Tuncay Istanbul

Posted on Friday, 9 January 2015 09:04

After suffering a run on deposits last year after getting embroiled in a political feud, Asya is selling the stake in Tamweel, which promotes Islamic finance in sub-Saharan Africa, to the Saudi-based Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

we expect this to have a positive impact on first quarter profitability

“We obtain 41.3 million lira profit through this sale and we expect this to have a positive impact on first quarter profitability,” Cengiz Onder, Bank Asya’s head of investor relations, told Reuters.

The run on deposits took place last year after Bank Asya became caught up in a power struggle between now-President Tayyip Erdogan and Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Islamic cleric whose sympathisers founded the lender.

Erdogan has long accused his former ally Gulen of orchestrating a graft probe to undermine his rule and has waged a battle to purge institutions such as the police and judiciary of his supporters.

In a show of loyalty to Erdogan, depositors including state-owned firms and institutions withdrew 4 billion lira, about a fifth of Bank Asya’s total deposits, according to media reports.

Bank Asya has laid off 1,708 staff and closed 80 branches, out of the 5,074 staff and 281 branches it had at the end of 2013.

It swung to a 301 million lira ($133 million) net loss in the third quarter partly due to a rise in bad loans, but said its underlying operations were healthy.

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