Bank Asya


Moody's lowered the long-term deposit rating of Bank Asya, which is known for its close ties to the controversial Gülen Movement, from "Ba2" to "B2". The financial strength rating of the Gülenist bank has been downgraded from "D-" to "E+". According to the rating agency's statement, the bank's standalone financial strength rating was lowered due to a fall back in negative asset-quality trends, funding volatility, and post-provision profitability. Moody's also stated that the bank has been placed on review due to uncertainty in deposit ratings and that the financial strength note is also under review in case of a possible reduction.


Bank Asya, which is known for its close ties with the Gülen Movement, is now in an even more critical condition after the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) reportedly issued a "warning letter" to the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK). The "confidential" note delivered to the BDDK states that the bank might not be able to provide the required reserves for its deposits in the central bank. The bank faced a TL 6 billion deposit outflow and a TL 7.6 billion decrease in assets as well as an 81 percent drop in its profits in recent months. Furthermore, the default loan amount of the bank and the rate of loans being followed up have reached critical levels. The BDDK started to investigate transactions of Bank Asya in order to determine whether the bank will be able to fulfill its obligation.


Hasan Say?n, a major shareholder of Bank Asya, is accused of insider trading for capitalizing on his knowledge to trade away his shares of the Gülenist bank and illegally earning millions of dollars. It was determined that Hasan Say?n traded millions of dollars on the stock exchange right before it was announced that Bank Asya was negotiating with Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB). The Capital Market Board (SPK), which is investigating the insider trading claims, is now getting ready to file a criminal complaint. Bank Asya had reportedly invited the holders of 290 privileged shares of the bank to discuss partnership options with the QIB, including Hasan Say?n and ?brahim Say?n. It was determined that both of them then traded millions of Bank Asya shares.

Bank Asya defies uncertainty, says all normal

Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya said in a note to Borsa ?stanbul that the company continued its banking operations smoothly, defying any kind of uncertainty regarding the bank’s shareholders and board. The bank’s statements follow on the heels of an announcement from state bank Ziraat Bankas? a few hours earlier. Ziraat said it had ended unofficial talks to acquire Bank Asya, saying such a purchase was not in line with its priorities. Observers said the statement from Bank Asya would help ease earlier concerns that the bank would be seized by the state amid an intense pressure from President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdo?an’s ruling party.

Bank Asya Barred From Selling Sukuk After Shares Suspended

The Turkish regulator Capital Markets Board (SPK) said it won’t consider Bank Asya’s (ASYAB) application to sell 140 million liras ($65 million) in debt, dealing another blow to the suspended Istanbul-based lender. It cited ambiguity over ownership. The shares have been on hold since Aug. 7, after large swings on contradictory government statements about a possible state purchase. Bank Asya was subsequently suspended from trading on the Istanbul exchange and removed from the main indexes. Regulators have also revoked the bank’s right to collect tax on behalf of the government. The bank said it applied to sell the debt in March. Bank Asya shares declined 14 percent this year before being suspended. That compares with a 20 percent gain on the Turkish banking index this year.

Ministry ends key deal with Bank Asya

Islamic lender Bank Asya has received another blow, as the Customs and Trade Ministry has joined with two other state institutions in cancelling their contract with the bank. The ministry has decided to terminate customs tax collection protocols with Bank Asya as a result of assessments made, the ministry said in a press statement released on Aug. 13. The ministry informed the lender regarding the annulment on Aug. 12 and the cancellation will take effect on Sept. 12, the statement also noted. Last week, the Revenue Administration and Social Security Institution had separately announced annulling their contracts with the lender.


The Borsa Istanbul issued a statement providing the reason for suspending the trading of shares of Bank Asya under the name ASYAB between August 7 and 12. The statement noted that the reason for the suspension was the contradictory news announced by various media institutions about the partnership structure of the bank and news which has caused fluctuation in the prices of share certificates. Therefore, it was noted that ASYAB share certificates are being temporarily suspended from trade. It further explained that the temporary suspension of trade continued since the statement Bank Asya gave to the Public Disclosure Platform on Aug. 8, 2014 did not completely remove the current uncertainty. In this respect, in order to not damage trust, clarity and the stability of the market, the temporary suspension of trading ASYAB stocks continued until Aug. 12, 2014, the BIST remarked.

Pro-Gülen Islamic lender suffers 81 percent profit decline in second quarter

Islamic lender Bank Asya posted a net profit of 10.6 million Turkish Lira ($4.9 million) in the second quarter, a slide of 81 percent from a year earlier. The bank’s total profit decline for the first half of the year was 48.8 percent, making its non-consolidated profit 51.5 million liras for the six-month period. The lender has been going through a whirlwind year of deposit withdrawals, acquisition talks and state contract annulments, due to the ongoing power struggle between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and Gülen’s supporters. The bank’s future looked dim after the authorities cancelled its tax collection and social security payment deals on Aug. 7 - a sign according to observers that the government may be a step closer to winding down the lender.

Government's Bank Asya operation brought to parliamentary agenda

Reactions are snowballing against the government's operation to force the closure of the participation bank Bank Asya as part of its fight against the Hizmet movement, with the matter brought to Parliament's agenda in the form of a parliamentary question from the Republican People's Party (CHP). CHP ?stanbul deputy Umut Oran directed a question at Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan to ask for the rationale behind the government's attempts to sink a private bank and risking a domino effect which could damage the entire economy. Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an said that Bank Asya's financial situation was worsening. His remarks were criticized strongly as a premeditated act intended to damage the bank, which is a crime punishable with a jail sentence of between one and three years. After the prime minister's words, the bank's shares in Borsa ?stanbul (B?ST) plummeted.

Turkish Bank Roiled By Politics

Trading in the shares of Turkey's third-largest Islamic lender, Asya Katilim Bankasi AS, was temporarily suspended Thursday after its share price whipsawed in the last 24 hours amid conflicting government statements about a takeover of the bank. Bourse Istanbul made the announcement just as the afternoon session commenced. Shares of the lender known as Bank Asya plummeted by as much as 9% on Thursday after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief adviser, Yigit Bulut, decried talks of an acquisition by the state as a farce, reversing a 7% rally from Wednesday. The stock was down 5.3% at 1.24 liras ($0.57) at midday before trading in the shares was halted. Bank Asya was also hit Thursday by the Presidency of Revenue Administration and the Social Security Institution, which canceled agreements.

Questions over Bank Asya’s future mount amid row of gov’t officials

The pressure on Islamic lender Bank Asya is growing as it has pit two senior government figures against each other amid a whirlwind day that saw the annulment of deals with two state institutions and suspension of its shares’ trading at the stock exchange. The lender has been under scrutiny after contradicting statements from Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Prime Minister Erdo?an’s economic adviser Yi?it Bulut regarding the possibility of its acquisition by state-owned lender Ziraat. Amid the political figures’ ongoing row, the lender received another blow when the Revenue Administration and state social security institution announced ending service deals with the lender. Bank Asya downplayed the impact of the annulment, but vowed to use its legal rights against the decision.

UPDATE 1-Turkey's Bank Asya says exclusivity deal with QIB ends

Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya said an exclusive deal with Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) to acquire a stake in the Turkish lender was annulled, opening the way for alternative suitors. QIB and Bank Asya have reportedly ended the talks after a disagreement over price. Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said on Wednesday that state-run Ziraat Bank, which is looking to launch its own Islamic banking unit, could buy Bank Asya. The bank's future looked dim after the authorities cancelled its tax collection and social security payment deals on Thursday - a sign according to observers that the government may be a step closer to winding down the lender.

Bank Asya stands firm as gov't pressure intensifies

Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has said the public Ziraat bank is considering purchasing Turkey's Bank Asya, a move that many have interpreted as the authorities' latest effort to crush the lender as a form of vengeance against the Hizmet movement, with which Bank Asya is affiliated. However, Bank Asya said no such talks have taken place. Pressure on the bank intensified on Thursday as an agreement between the Finance Ministry and Bank Asya allowing the bank to collect taxes was canceled. The bank said it will take legal action against these decisions. A source involved in the financial market who asked to remain anonymous said the government has apparently launched a new campaign, this time trying to purchase the bank after numerous failed attempts to sink the bank earlier this year.

Bank Asya sells stakes in 2 subsidiaries

Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya has decided to sell its stakes in two subsidiaries for TL 132 million ($62 million). In a statement to Borsa ?stanbul (BIST), Bank Asya said it is selling a 24.18 percent stake in Turkish construction firm Tuna Gayrimenkul for TL 62.8 million. The bank also said it is selling another construction company, Nil Yönetim Hizmetleri, for TL 69.25 million. The move comes amid efforts of Bank Asya to raise capital. Meanwhile, Qatar Islamic Bank and Bank Asya have reportedly ended exclusive talks over QIB acquiring a stake in the Turkish lender, with valuation concerns said to be behind the decision. Turkish state bank Ziraat may now be the most likely partner for Bank Asya.

Bank Asya's corporate governance rating increases

Turkish lender Bank Asya announced on Sunday that their corporate governance rating had increased in June over its score from last year. The bank released the figures in an announcement addressed to the Public Disclosure Forum (KAP). According to a recent report prepared by the Capital Markets Board (SPK), Bank Asya's corporate governance rating increased from 84.20 in June 2013 to 90.85 in June of this year. The founders of Bank Asya are known for being affiliated with the Hizmet movement, inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. News reports circulated earlier this year indicating the government had attempted to sabotage the bank by withdrawing nearly one-fifth of the bank's deposits.

Bank Asya mandates Goldman for strategic partnership

Bank Asya said on Wednesday it has mandated Goldman Sachs as its financial advisor for a strategic partnership, without providing further details. Bank Asya shares traded on the Borsa ?stanbul (BIST) were down 3.5 percent on Wednesday. In March, the Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) said it had entered into exclusive talks to buy a stake in Bank Asya without giving further details. Bank Asya also said last week it mandated its management to possibly sell its subsidiaries. The bank was earlier targeted by government officials who claim alleged irregularities in the bank. The government has however failed to prove these allegations.

Pro-Gülen Islamic lender denies ending sales talks with Qatari bank

Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya has ruled out reports of ending share sales talks with Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB). Several reports on July 2 claimed Bank Asya and the QIB have ended exclusive talks regarding the QIB acquiring a stake in the Turkish lender after failing to agree on price. The reports also quoted sources claiming Turkish state-run bank Ziraat Bank may now be the most likely partner for Bank Asya, but the two banks have not officially begun negotiations. Ziraat Bank officials said there had not yet been any official attempts to move toward Bank Asya, but they did not deny the possibility of such an acquisition either. Meanwhile, on July 1, Bank Asya announced it has moved to sell assets worth around 133 million liras.

UPDATE 1-Turkey's Bank Asya, Qatar's QIB end exclusive talks over Asya stake sale-sources

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) and Turkey's Bank Asya have ended exclusive talks over QIB acquiring a stake in the Turkish lender, with valuation concerns said to be behind the decision. Turkish state bank Ziraat Bank may now be the most likely partner for Bank Asya but the two banks have not officially begun talks. It is not clear what size stake has been under discussion. Bank Asya shares slumped 9.9 percent to 1.36 lira, their lowest since April 1, by 1304 GMT, on the news that Asya was no longer holding exclusive talks with QIB. Islamic lender Bank Asya has been under pressure to sell assets, after major investors sympathetic to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan withdrew deposits.

Turkish Bank Asya might sell subsidiaries

The Turkish Bank Asya’s board gave its management the go ahead to possibly sell the banks subsidiaries. This information was given Istanbul Stock Exchange and a rise of 5.4 percent in Asya share followed the news.

Ziraat Bank eyes on Islamic Bank

State-owned Ziraat Bank has interest in buying the Islamic bank Bank Asya. Yet nothing is official just now, according to Ziraat Bank, a state owned bank. The move would allow Ziraat to enter the Islamic banking market. The Turkish government would also like to change the banks’ capital structure that is controlled by Gülen supporters. Bank Asya has been the subject of focus since the Turkish media reported that state-owned companies and institutional depositors loyal to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an had withdrawn around 4 billion Turkish Liras in the wake of the Dec. 17, 2013, graft probe.

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