Bank of China gets green light in Turkey

ANKARA (AA) – Bank of China, one of the world’s largest financial institutions, has received permission to operate in Turkey, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek revealed on Tuesday.

In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Simsek said that the bank applied to Turkey’s banking watchdog, the BDDK, in January for a license.

The BDDK’s last meeting green-lighted the bank’s entry into the Turkish market.

Simsek said Bank of China was the seventh largest bank globally, adding that its presence in Turkey was a clear sign of foreign investors’ interest in the domestic market.

The bank is expected to start operations within nine months in Istanbul, in line with Turkish banking law requirements.

Simsek said: “The bank has an application for establishment … with 300 million lira [$106 million] capital in Turkey.

“In the bank, which is expected to be established after [gaining a] certificate, Bank of China will have 99.99 percent of shares.”

The minister added that four other companies – Best Stream, Maxon, Well Ocean, Union Favour – owned by Bank of China Group Investment Limited, a subsidiary of BOC, would have shares of 0.01 percent in total.

“Turkey’s investment potential and stable economic structure boost foreign-capital banks’ interest in Turkish banking sector,” Simsek said, adding there are many applications from large international banking groups to the BDDK for new establishments or share transfers.