Turkey’s Babacan Says Gov Wants Ziraat to Purchase Bank Asya

Ali Babacan, deputy Turkish Prime Minister, said the government would support state bank TC Ziraat Bankasi AS buying Asya Katilim Bankasi AS, the Istanbul Islamic lender in partnership talks with Qatar Islamic Bank.

“It would be good for both the banking system and the bank itself, basically,” Babacan said on television station TV24 today. Ziraat met Bank Asya for talks shortly after the state-run lender began a move into Islamic banking, he said.

“Nothing’s certain on that front yet, but if it were to become certain it’ll be an outcome that we desire,” he said.

Hurriyet newspaper reported in June that talks between QIB and Bank Asya had stalled, prompting the Turkish lender to deny negotiations had broken down in a public filing. The lender said that talks with QIB were exclusive and continuing, and that it hadn’t received any other partnership offers.

Bank Asya’s investor relations department declined to comment as did a spokesman in London for QIB’s QInvest investment banking unit.

Bank Asya shares jumped 8.3 percent at the close in Istanbul, paring this year’s loss to 9.7 percent.

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