Economy, Business And Markets

Turkish Bank to Seal Iranian Deal Soon

Turkish Bank to Seal Iranian Deal SoonTurkish Bank to Seal Iranian Deal Soon

Turkish investment bank Unlu & Co aims to complete the acquisition of an Iranian brokerage in the next six months and become the first Turkish financial services firm to operate in Iran since the easing of sanctions, its chairman said on Friday as reported by Reuters.

World powers in January lifted most sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for Tehran complying with a deal to curb its nuclear energy program, ending years of economic isolation. Turkish trade with Iran has since risen some 30 %.

"We aim to conclude the acquisition in the next three to six months," Mahmut Unlu, chairman and chief executive of Istanbul-based Unlu & Co, told a news conference.

The bank, which specializes in mergers and acquisitions and portfolio management, has also established an open-ended fund to invest in Iranian companies and has been hired by a Turkish consumer goods firm to find acquisition targets in Iran, Unlu said.

"The Turkish company we are advising is in talks to buy a majority stake in an Iranian firm. It will be a $60-70 million deal," he said, without giving further details.

Stating that they would assess organic and inorganic growth opportunities in the region, Ünlü said: “Our first step in this direction will be in Iran. As the market further opens up, we will be providing merger and acquisitions advisory, fund management and brokerage services to our clients in Iran.”

In line with its target of being a regional investment bank, Unlu & Co also aims to start operations in Egypt. Unlu said the bank aimed to be operating in all three countries within the next five years.

ÜNLÜ & Co also has representatives in Malaysia and Singapore, he said, adding that they would become an active player in London, at the heart of European financial markets.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said this month that Turkey aims to normalize relations with Egypt, strained since the Egyptian army, under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ousted Mohamed Mursi as president following mass protests in 2013. Turkey had built close ties with Mursi, Egypt's first Islamist president.

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