(Adds background, details on Odea Bank)
By Ebru Tuncay
ISTANBUL, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Turkey’s Odea Bank has cut more than 100 employees since last week and could cut more in the coming days as part of an ongoing restructuring, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday.
Odea Bank, the Turkish arm of Lebanon’s Bank Audi, confirmed it was reviewing the number of its employees, but did not give any details. It said it remained committed to the Turkish market.
“Odea Bank is re-evaluating the number of its personnel in line with its strategy,” it said in a statement. It said it and its parent “will continue to remain fully attached to the Turkish market”.
Odea Bank is the 13th largest bank in Turkey, with 36.4 billion lira ($9.34 billion) in assets and 1,616 employees as of the end of September, according to Turkey’s banks association.
It received a full banking licence in 2012, the first new bank to do so in 15 years.
While Turkey is a growing market with enviable demographics - its population of nearly 80 million is the youngest in Europe - it has proved challenging for smaller, foreign-owned banks, given the stiff competition from bigger domestic players.
Britain’s HSBC last year abandoned plans to sell its Turkish operation after the offers it received for the unit were deemed not attractive enough.
$1 = 3.8959 liras Additional reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by David Dolan