QNB Group enters into definitive agreement with National Bank of Greece to acquire its 99.81% stake in Finansbank – Turkey

Posted on : Tue, 22 Dec 2015

22 December 2015 - QNB Group, the largest financial institution in Qatar and the Middle East and North Africa Region, announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement with National Bank of Greece for the acquisition of its entire stake comprising 99.81% in Finansbank A.Ş (Finansbank) in Turkey for a total consideration of €2.7 billion (US$2.94 billion).

QNB Group has been a trusted financial institution for over fifty years. Through controlled growth, the bank aspires to become an Icon in the Middle East and Africa by 2017. To achieve this, QNB Group is pursuing inorganic growth in large, high growth markets. Turkey, with its significant market size, population, growth track record, strong economic and banking sector prospects and strategic location as a gateway between Europe and Asia represents such a market and is therefore of strategic importance for QNB Group. Turkey’s ties with the rest of the region have increased in recent years, as trade with the Middle East and North Africa region has risen nearly ten-fold from US$5.6 billion in 2000 to US$52.2 billion in 2014.

Finansbank is the fifth largest privately owned universal bank by total assets, customer deposits and loans in the Turkish market. The bank was incorporated in 1987 and acquired by National Bank of Greece, which currently has a shareholding of 99.81%. Finansbank has grown organically into a full service financial institution with an independent and experienced management, nationwide distribution network of 647 branches and over 5.3 million customers. As of 30 June 2015, Finansbank has US$29.0 billion of assets, US$19.5 billion in loans and US$14.6 billion in deposits and total equity amounted to US$3.6 billion as per International Financial Reporting Standards. Finansbank has a strong capital base with a capital adequacy ratio of 15.9%, which is among the highest in the Turkish banking sector, together with solid long-term foreign currency ratings of Ba2 and BBB- by Moody’s and Fitch, which are a testament to Finansbank’s successful business, operating model and risk management.

QNB intends to fund the purchase through its own funds and will remain strongly capitalized after the acquisition in line with its Group targets.

Commenting on the announcement, QNB Group’s Chief Executive Officer Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari said: “This transaction is a significant milestone in QNB’s Vision to becoming a MEA Icon by 2017 and a leading global bank by 2030. Finansbank is a highly regarded financial institution with an impressive track record of success in Turkey, and we look forward to welcoming the personnel and management of Finansbank to QNB Group. We also look forward to contributing towards Turkey’s future economic development and further enhancing its overall connectivity with international markets as an integral part of QNB Group’s global network”

QNB Capital and J.P. Morgan are acting as joint financial advisors, while Clifford Chance is acting as lead legal counsel and Yegin Çiftçi Attorney Partnership is acting as local legal counsel for the transaction.

The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of both banks and the General Council of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund.

The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2016.