Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mostafa Al-Shemali inaugurated on Monday the 229th branch of KFH-Turkey in Ankara, on the sideline of his official visit to Turkey as part of the delegation accompanying His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The event was attended by Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al-Saleh, Turkish Minister of Finance Mohammed Semcek, Kuwait Finance House (KFH) CEO and KFH-Turkey Chairman Mohammed Al-Omar, in addition to a number of officials and businessmen from both countries. Al-Shemali stated that KFH-Turkey serves to embody the strong relationships between the two countries, since it has been established by the support of Kuwait and Turkey in 1989. He added that throughout 24 years and 229 branches, the bank managed to contribute USD 7.8 billion in 2012 to the Turkish economy, not to mention offering credit with a value over USD 5 billion to the industrial and productive sector in Turkey. He went on to say that the bank is considered to be the epitome of a strong historic relationship between the two countries in various political, cultural, and economic fields. He mentioned that Kuwait takes pride in such a relationship, and called for stepping up efforts to further support this relationship; especially that the sector plays a pivotal role in that field, which is evident by the privileges offered to companies in various fields.
Meanwhile, Al-Omar asserted that the Turkish market will remain a main market for KFH, where it successfully expanded and achieved success. He added that KFH operates according to a strategy that aims to link Turkey and its neighboring countries to Kuwait and the GCC. He explained that Turkey is also considered to be a window of opportunity to the European markets, and this strategy was cemented by opening banks in Bahrain, Dubai, and Germany. He noted that deposits on KFH-Turkey reached USD 9.5 billion in March 2012, while total assets increased to USD 10.8 billion, and shareholders’ equity reached USD 947 million. He stressed that the bank currently represents 1% of the banking sector in Turkey by end of 2012, and recorded growth over 20% in deposits and credit. He mentioned that Fitch has recently upgraded the bank’s credit rating.
Furthermore, he said that KFH-Turkey offered the Turkish market the first Sukuk in the private sector that was worth USD 350 million, and arranged a sovereign Sukuk deal in Turkey worth USD 1.5 billion. Al-Omar revealed that the bank is currently issuing first Sukuk deal in Turkish Lira worth TL 100 million, not to mention the gold and silver accounts. He highlighted the fact that after the recent increase in capital, Islamic banks in Turkey have a stronger player in the field, and this will allow the bank to become one of the top 10 banks in Turkey and one of the top Islamic banks worldwide. He revealed that the bank plans to increase its total assets to TL 80 billion, and branches to 550, in addition to continuing to invest in individuals and technology.
It is worth noting that KFH possesses 64% of KFH-Turkey, which is considered to be the top Islamic bank in Turkey in assets, and is currently ranking 11th among top Turkish banks.