ING considers Turkey exit

Pedro Gonçalves
ING considers Turkey exit

Dutch banking giant ING is planning to sell its business in Turkey as part of its cost-cutting strategies.

Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the development, reported that the Dutch lender has held initial negotiations about the possibility of divesting its Turkey business with potential advisers.

No final decision has been made, the news wire said, citing people with knowledge of the matter. ING Bank AS currently has 3825 employees and serves Turkey customers with a suite of products and services.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has tightened control over the nation's banks, cut transaction fees and pushed lenders to reduce interest rates on credits.

Erdoğan is exerting pressure on the industry after winning enhanced executive powers at presidential elections in 2018 and wants banks to lend more to businesses and consumer as part of measures designed to spur economic growth.

Last year, ING also contacted a local rival to gauge its interest, the report added.

If a deal proceeds, ING will be the latest lender to exit the Turkish market.

Last month, Italian banking group UniCredit sold a stake worth $484m in its Turkish arm Yapi Kredi.

In January, Reuters reported that British banking giant HSBC is also looking to exit Turkey market as currency risks and economic volatility increased.


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