Dubai's Emirates NBD to buy Turkey's Denizbank for $2.8 billion in revised deal

April 03, 2019

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The lira has tumbled over concerns about the Turkish central bank’s independence. — AFP/File
The lira has tumbled over concerns about the Turkish central bank’s independence. — AFP/File

Dubai’s Emirates NBD said on Wednesday it will buy Turkey’s Denizbank from Russia’s Sberbank at a roughly 20 percent discount to a previously agreed price, after a steep fall in the Turkish lira.

Under a new agreement reached with state-owned Sberbank, Dubai’s largest lender said it will buy Turkey’s fifth largest private bank for 15.48 billion lira ($2.8 billion), compared to the 14.6 billion lira announced in May.

Although the deal’s lira value is higher, the dollar value when it was announced in May was put at the equivalent of $3.2 billion, about $400 million more that the new price.

The lira has tumbled over concerns about the Turkish central bank’s independence and Ankara’s worsening ties with Washington.

The Denizbank deal comes against a backdrop of Turkey’s strained relations with Gulf states since Ankara stood by Qatar after the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and others accused Doha of supporting terrorism, a charge it denies.

The transaction will help Emirates NBD diversify its business and establish itself as a leading bank in the region, the bank’s vice chairman Hesham Abdulla al-Qassim said in May.

For Russia’s biggest bank by assets, the sale of Sberbank’s biggest asset outside Russia is part of a shift back to its home market. It bought Denizbank in 2012 for about $3.5 billion when it wanted to establish a presence abroad.

For Emirates NBD, the revised deal represents a discount of roughly 20 percent, a spokesman for the bank told Reuters, without providing further details.

Sberbank said it expected to receive $5 billion from the sale of Denizbank, including capital and debt. The news of the sale sent shares in Sberbank up 1.5 percent at market opening.

The sale price is based on Denizbank’s capital plus 5 percent, according to international financial reporting standards, Sberbank said. The bank added that it expected the deal to be closed by the end of the second quarter of 2019.

Denizbank’s equity amounted to 15.51 billion lira as of December 31, Emirates NBD said in a bourse statement, adding that the deal is expected to close by the end of the second quarter, subject to regulatory approval.