ECONOMY

Talks on Yapi Kredi sale

ANKARA (Reuters) – The owners of leading Turkish bank Yapi Kredi Bankasi on Tuesday met with officials from the country’s banking watchdog to discuss plans to sell the bank, a government official told Reuters. The Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency seized Yapi Kredi’s former fellow group bank Pamukbank in 2002, citing a capital shortfall of $2.5 billion, and took executive control of the Cukurova Group’s shares in Yapi Kredi. Owner Cukurova Group agreed last year to sell its holding in Yapi Kredi in return for assistance from the authorities in restructuring debts it owes the bank. The agreement calls for Cukurova to retain less than 10 percent of Yapi Kredi shares, down from the current 45 percent. The official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Cukurova had signaled a willingness to go through with the sale, which is expected to be complete within a year. «(Cukurova) is looking at the matter more maturely and in line with the law,» the official said, adding that the regulator had rejected Cukurova’s earlier proposals. Banking regulators control 13 percent of Yapi Kredi shares and will retain these after the sale. Cukurova has been working on a plan with the regulatory agency to repay debt it owes the bank and the State’s Savings and Deposits Insurance Fund.