Turkish Islamic lender Turkiye Finans Katilim Bankasi plans to establish a presence in Bahrain, in what would be its first overseas foray and a welcome addition to the Kingdom’s Islamic banking sector.
Turkiye Finans, in which Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank is the largest shareholder, announced the plans during a visit by bank officials to the Gulf state, state news agency BNA said on Sunday.
No details were given on the timeframe to start operations or what type of licence was being sought.
The move would help rekindle Bahrain’s Islamic banking sector, which includes six retail banks and 18 wholesale banks. As of June, they held a combined $24.6 billion in assets, a 5.2 per cent drop from a year earlier, central bank data showed.
Turkey Finans is one of four Islamic banks in Turkey, known domestically as participation banks, and has a predominant focus on corporate banking.