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Qatar’s CBQ Agrees to Buy 70.8% Stake in Turkey’s Alternatifbank

Commercial Bank of Qatar QSC, the Persian Gulf country’s second-largest bank, said it agreed to acquire a 70.8 percent stake in Turkey’s Alternatifbank AS (ALNTF) from Anadolu Group for two times the book value.

Alternatif’s book value was 585.1 million liras ($323 million) at the end of 2012, CBQ (CBQK) said in a statement today. The sale price will be based on the book value of Istanbul-based Alternatif at the end of this June, CBQ said.

“ABank operates in a dynamic economy with good long-term growth prospects, in a country that is strategically and culturally aligned,” said Hussain Al Fardan, CBQ’s managing director. “We believe this represents the logical next step in the execution of our international expansion strategy.”

Investors from the Middle East, Russia and Asia are seeking to boost their presence in Turkey with acquisitions and licenses. The Middle East’s biggest lender, Qatar National Bank SAQ, said this month it may target stakes in Turkey’s major banks. Dubai-based Emirates NBD PJSC has also expressed interest in acquisitions. Qatar-based Doha Bank QSC is also interested in entering Turkey, Anatoila News Agency reported today.

Alternatifbank shares jumped 6 percent to 2.63 liras at 3:30 p.m. in Istanbul today, the largest increase since Jan. 8 and giving it a market value of 1.1 billion liras. CBQ was up 1 percent at 67.6 riyals.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second half of this year after regulatory approvals, CBQ said in the statement. Alternatif is almost 96 percent-owned by Anadolu Group and 4.2 percent of the shares trade on the exchange.

Anadolu Endustri Holding, which has a 77.7 percent stake in Alternatifbank, will retain 25 percent after the sale. Other group companies won’t have any stake left in the lender, Anadolu Group said in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange today.

“The transaction is in line with Anadolu’s strategy to focus its resources on its core businesses of food and beverages, power and automotives,” Tuncay Ozilhan, the group’s chairman, said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sibel Akbay in Istanbul at sakbay@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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