UPDATE 1-Turkey's Bank Asya plans dollar sukuk in 2-3 months -CEO

Fri Dec 7, 2012 9:40am EST

Related Topics

* Bank would be Turkey's second to issue sukuk

* Wants to advise firms on sukuk issuance

* Focus on consumer, small business banking (Adds details on advisory plans, strategy)

By Ebru Tuncay and Seda Sezer

ISTANBUL, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Turkey's largest Islamic lender Bank Asya plans to issue a dollar-denominated sukuk, or Islamic bond, of around $200-$300 million within the next 2-3 months, Chief Executive Abdullah Celik told Reuters.

The Islamic lender will also finalise the issuance of its lira-denominated sukuk of between 100-150 million lira ($56-84 million) within the next month and half, Celik said in an interview late on Thursday.

Turkey's Islamic banks have so far issued only two sukuk. Both were issued by Kuveyt Turk, 62 percent owned by Kuwait Finance House, which raised a total of $450 million in 2010 and 2011.

In November 2011 Bank Asya shelved a plan for a $300 million, five-year sukuk issue, citing "adverse developments in international markets".

After issuing its own sukuk, Bank Asya may shift attention to underwriting Islamic bond issues for Turkish companies and is setting up a brokerage unit to advise firms, Celik said.

"We will mediate in sukuk issuances and finding partners for firms. But as Bank Asya we could also make partnerships," he said.

Bank Asya put up its insurance unit Isik Sigorta for sale in February but decided not to accept bids it received after talks with possible German and Canadian buyers, Celik said, without giving further details.

"We do not have to sell Isik Sigorta," he said.

He said Bank Asya expected its loans and deposits to grow 20 percent this year and more than 18 percent in 2013.

Its strategy would be to open more branches throughout Turkey and focus on consumer banking and loans for small and medium enterprises rather than corporate banking, Celik said.

He said loans to small and medium enterprises had grown 70 percent this year and the bank planned 25 new branches in 2013. ($1 = 1.7889 Turkish liras) (Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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