Akbank Signs Cooperation Agreement With Korea’s Hana

(Corrects to remove reference to three in second paragraph of story first published yesterday.)

Akbank TAS (AKBNK), Turkey’s second-biggest lender by market value, signed a cooperation agreement with South Korea’s Hana Bank as it seeks to take advantage of the two countries’ recent free-trade agreement.

The parties plan to cross-sell each others’ products and jointly invest in projects and countries outside Turkey and South Korea, Akbank said today in a statement. Hana Bank, part of the Hana Financial Group, has the largest bank network in the Asian nation after buying Korea Exchange Bank in 2012, Akbank said.

Today’s deal follows Akbank’s signing of an accord with Export-Import Bank of Korea, and rival Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi AS’s cooperation deal with Industrial Bank of Korea which was signed in January of last year. There are 257 Korean firms operating in Turkey, according to Akbank.

“We expect South Korean firms’ interest in big infrastructural projects to increase in the coming years” Akbank Chief Executive Officer Hakan Binbasgil said in the statement today. “Our cooperation with Hana Bank, which has such a large network in Asia Pacific, will give us an advantage in financing these projects.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Isobel Finkel in Istanbul at ifinkel1@bloomberg.net

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

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