Ozyegin of Turkey’s Fiba Group Returns to Banking Sector
Fiba acquired Millenium Bank from Banco Comercial for 61.8 million euros in December.
The group first started its banking business in 1987 under the Finansbank brand. Two year later Fiba Holding was launched in the banking business. In 2003 Fiba Bank and Finansbank were merged. The group inked a sales contract for 46 percent of shares in Finansbank with National Bank of Greece, or NBG, in 2006. Today, a total of 77.22 percent of Finansbank shares are held by NBG, in addition to a 7.9 percent by NBG Holdings B.V and another 9.68 percent by NBG Finance.
The size of assets of Millenium was 1.5 billion Turkish Liras as of April 15 and its loan volume was 1.2 billion liras. The lender plans to open a total of 13 branches in Istanbul in addition to ones in Ankara, İzmir, Bursa and Antalya.
Fibabanka will be a part of Fiba Group’s Credit Europe Bank, a lender active in Holland, Belgium, Dubai, Germany, Malta, China, Turkey, Switzerland and Romania.
“We are happy and proud as Fiba Group to show that a Turkish bank that was sold to foreigners may be re-acquired again by Turkish capital,” said Özyeğin during an Istanbul meeting to mark the comeback of the lender.
After acquiring Millenium, Fibabank did not hesitate much on the new name, as the two options were Fibabank and Fibabanka.
The lender is to focus on retail banking and small and medium enterprises, or SMEs, according to executives.
“We had founded our first bank with 24 employees and 8 million liras in capital. Today we start the Fibabanka with 20 branches, 350 employees and 225 million liras in capital,” Anatolia news agency quoted Özyeğin him as saying.
When acquired in 2006, Finansank was employing 7,000 people, he said, adding that the group has been in the banking business for 40 years and until today had recruited 33,000 people.
Speaking on the retail experience of the group, Özyeğin said, “We are providing 4,000 individual loans in addition to 200 car loans everyday in Russia. We aim to reach a total of 2 million credit cards in the country by the end of the year.”
The lender also aims to contribute to increasing the Russian ruble-Turkish lira transactions both in Istanbul and Antalya, a tourism destination that receives a large number of Russian visitors.
Tevfik Bilgin, head of Turkey’s banking regulator BDDK, said he was content with Fiba’s return to banking. “Such steps by the domestic capital makes us happy,” daily Hürriyet quoted him as saying.
May 12, 2011
SOURCE: Hurriyet Daily News