Kuwait Finance House (KFH) CEO and KFH-Turkey Chairman Mohammed Al-Omar asserted that Turkey is considered to be one of the few markets around the world that managed to avoid the negative impact of the financial crisis and the debts crisis that affected other countries that are geographically close to Turkey. He added that this was a result of Turkey’s accumulative experience in handling financial crises, and its success in creating a stable investment environment for local and foreign investors.
Al-Omar who met the editors-in-chief of local newspapers at KFH-Turkey in Istanbul, mentioned that in light of his position and experience in the Turkish market, he realized that the Turkish government’s economic policy is based on legislative stability that preserves the rights of all investing parties, the support required in its various forms for projects that will be of great benefit to the society and the investor, and diversifying sources of income by focusing on policies and laws that ensure the prosperity of all sectors of the economy.
Moreover, he noted that the role played by KFH-Turkey as a KFH subsidiary exceeds offering banking services to being a liaison between Kuwait and the GCC countries, and Turkey. He went on to say that history has shown that commercial relationships are a strong factor in strengthening relationships among countries. He went on to say that Kuwait and the GCC are keen to establish better economic and commercial relationships with Turkey. Al-Omar applauded the visit of the editors-in-chief of local Turkish newspapers, and said that such meeting will further cement the relationships between the two countries.
Meanwhile, KFH-Turkey’s CEO Ufuk Iwan revealed that the bank aims to strengthen and expand the fields of cooperation between Turkey and the GCC, which prompted the bank to open three branches in Bahrain, Dubai, and Arbeel in Iraq. He mentioned that in 2002, KFH-Turkey’s branch in Bahrain coordinated business and financing operations between Turkey and the GCC with total value of USD 5 billion. He went on to say that the bank is willing to offer Kuwaiti investors all the necessary products and services in the Turkish market, in addition to offering Kuwaitis the service of acquiring real estate in Turkey. He revealed that the bank was established in 1989 and KFH owns 62.5% of the bank’s share. He remarked that the bank has opened a branch in Germany and plans to further expand in Europe. In Turkey, the bank is considered to be one of the biggest Islamic banks in Turkey and is planning to increase its market share from 5% to reach 10%. The bank also has 182 branches in Turkey and according to the budget of 2011; it has increased assets, shareholders’ equity and profit to range from 25-54%. He asserted that KFH-Turkey’s 23 years of work reflect the strong relationships between Kuwait and Turkey, and between Turkey and the GCC. He stated that several conferences and meetings will be held between businessmen from both countries. He said that as the first Islamic bank in Turkey and Europe, it has issued Sukuk worth USD 350 million within two consecutive deals, not to mention winning several awards. It is worth noting that the Turkish parliament issued a legislation that opens the door for issuing Sukuk, and as a result of the high demand for Sukuk, the bank is considering issuing Sukuk in Turkey.