Burgan Bank Concludes Purchase of Eurobank Tekfen

(Corrects spelling of Burgan Bank in headline.)

Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Burgan Bank SAK, the third-biggest Kuwaiti lender by assets, completed the purchase of 99.3 percent of Istanbul-based Eurobank Tekfen AS amid growing interest from Persian Gulf banks to expand operations in Turkey.

The 627 million-lira ($349 million) deal was completed on Dec. 21 after the Kuwait-based lender secured approval from Turkish and local regulatory bodies, Burgan Bank said in a statement to the Kuwait Stock Exchange today.

Persian Gulf lenders are eying opportunities to expand in Turkey, capitalizing on European banks pressured by the debt crisis needing to sell investments. Qatar National Bank SAQ, the Middle East’s biggest lender, may be targeting Finansbank AS, owned by National Bank of Greece SA, according to analysts.

Burgan Bank also acquired a loan portfolio from a subsidiary of the previous owner, which was Greece’s Eurobank Ergasias SA, as part of the deal, according to the statement. The portfolio included 42.3 million euros ($55.8 million) and $79.6 million, the bank said.

Shares of Burgan Bank were unchanged at 530 fils at the close in Kuwait City today after rising 1.9 percent following the announcement. The stock is up 17 percent this year, compared with a 2.6 percent increase in Kuwait’s benchmark stock index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Inal Ersan in Dubai at iersan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net