Emlak Bank, Turkey’s sixth and newest Islamic bank, has opened its headquarters in Istanbul and is aiming for fifteen branches in seven regions by the end of the year, reported state news agency Anadolu.
The state-owned bank was established in 1946 and returns this year after its license was revoked on Jul 9, 2001 and its assets and liabilities transferred primarily to Ziraat, another government-owned bank.
This was a result of Turkey’s economic crisis in the 1990s that led to the country’s request for financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2000.
Part of the economic reform deal with IMF was a major restructuring of Turkey’s banking sector.
The newest participation bank, which is what Islamic banks are called in Turkey, focuses on the construction and real estate sectors.
In December 2018, participation banks held 206.8 billion Turkish liras ($38.9 billion) in assets, accounting for 5.3 percent of the banking sector, according to data from the Participation Banks Association of Turkey (TKKB).
This was up from 160.7 billion liras in December 2017, when Islamic banking assets made up 4.9 percent of the banking sector.
The government is aiming for 15 percent market share by 2025.
To expand the sector, the government opened two participation banks prior to Emlak: Ziraat in 2015 and Vakif in 2016.
The other participation banks are Albaraka Turk, Kuveyt Turk and Turkiye Finans.
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