Akbank ‘Least Preferred’ at UBS on Premium to Peers

Akbank TAS, a Turkish bank part-owned by Citigroup Inc., was cut to “sell” from “neutral” at UBS AG, which said Akbank was among the “least preferred” shares due to its premium to peers.

UBS lowered Akbank’s price estimate to 6 liras from 7.2 liras, UBS economists and strategists including Reinhard Cluse in London said in an e-mailed report to clients.

“Strong balance sheet and good positioning could lead to market share gains in the current environment, and the bank’s prudent provisioning and higher asset quality performance would add to these qualities in an environment of higher cost of risk, but we can not justify the premium to peers,” UBS said.

Akbank is owned by Citigroup and Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS, Turkey’s second-biggest group of companies.

(Corrects story dated Jan. 20 after UBS fixes reason for classifying Akbank as a “least preferred share.”)
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