ECONOMY

Alpha Bank makes deal with Turkey’s Anadolu for Alternarifbank subsidiary

Alpha Bank, Greece’s second-largest lender, said yesterday it had clinched a deal with Turkey’s Anadolu Group to establish a holding company that will own Alternatifbank, making a foray in Turkey’s financial sector. «An agreement has been reached with Anadolu Group to create a strong franchise in the Turkish financial sector,» Alpha Bank said. «Through this partnership Alpha Bank enters a rapidly developing sector in a large and fast-growing market.» Under the deal, Alpha Bank and Anadolu will jointly set up a holding company whose assets will comprise the shares in Alternatifbank (Abank) and Alease that are currently held by Anadolu. The two partners will have equal 50 percent stakes in the holding company. Anadolu owns 94 percent of Abank and 95 percent of Alease. Alpha Bank said the transaction was valued at -384.3 million ($492.5 million). It will contribute half of this amount in cash. «Alpha Bank’s banking expertise combined with Anadolu Group’s extensive business presence in the Turkish market will transform Abank to a truly universal bank,» Alpha said. Alpha, the third Greek bank to venture into Turkey after National Bank and EFG Eurobank, said it was targeting a network of over 100 branches, mainly in Turkey’s large cities, in the medium term. Alternatifbank has assets exceeding -1 billion and reported profits equivalent to -17 million in the first nine months of 2006. It has a network of 30 branches, mainly in Istanbul and Izmir. (Reuters, Kathimerini)