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CBQ Will Start Talks to Buy Alternatifbank of Turkey

Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Commercial Bank of Qatar QSC, the Persian Gulf country’s second-biggest bank, will begin talks to buy Alternatifbank AS of Turkey, said Anadolu Group, Alternatifbank’s owner.

The negotiations with Doha-based CBQ are over the sale of a majority stake, Anadolu Group said in a filing to the Istanbul Stock Exchange today. The talks are expected to last about 2.5 months and the group, which owns 96 percent of the bank, will retain a minority shareholding, chairman Tuncay Ozilhan told Bloomberg HT television.

Investors from the Middle East, Russia and the Far East are seeking to boost their presence in Turkey with acquisitions and licenses, attracted by rising profit and growth in loans as troubled European banks exit. 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, while Russia’s OAO Sberbank bought Denizbank AS from Belgium’s Dexia SA in June.

Alternatifbank surged 16 percent to 1.69 liras at 4:04 p.m. in Istanbul, the biggest gain since February and valuing the company at 709.8 million liras ($400 million). Ranked 15th of 16 listed Turkish banks in terms of market value, Alternatifbank trades at 1.14 times book value compared with an average 1.65 for the 16-member Istanbul Stock Exchange National-Banks Index.

Last month, Alternatifbank, which has 63 branches, reported nine-month profit of 57.4 million liras, five times greater than the year-ago figure. Loans in Turkey’s banking industry increased an annual 16 percent to 791 billion liras in the year to Dec. 14, according to data published by the banking regulator in Ankara.

Yazicilar Holding AS, which owns Anadolu Group, climbed 1.9 percent to 15.90 liras in Istanbul trading.

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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