Arab world eager to invest more in Türkiye, top Arab banking official says

Investment and trade relations between Türkiye, Arab world growing, says Union of Arab Banks general-secretary

Gokhan Ergocun and Yunus Turk  | 25.05.2024 - Update : 25.05.2024
Arab world eager to invest more in Türkiye, top Arab banking official says


Türkiye, as a member of the G20 and a developing economy, is drawing a lot of interest for investment from the Arab world, Secretary-General of the Union of Arab Banks Wissam H. Fattouh has said.

Fattouh added that many Arab investors would like to make contact with Turkish banks. He spoke with Anadolu while attending the International Arab Banking Summit in Istanbul that kicked off Thursday. The two-day event, organized by the Union of Arab Banks was held under the auspices of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

There are very strong investment and trade relations between Türkiye and the Arab world, and that is why the Arab banks have decided to hold the meeting in Istanbul, he said.

He added that Türkiye's banking sector is very advanced, particularly in technology and digital banking.

"We will benefit from this experience and we have delegations coming from the Arab world to meet with Turkish banks," said Fattouh.

Touching on the Iraq-Türkiye Development Road project, he said that the project is very important. It can create many jobs and may change trade trends.

Acquisition of Turkish lender Yapi Kredi

On the reports of an Emirati bank's acquisition of Turkish private lender Yapi Kredi, Fattouh said that there are lots of investment opportunities in Türkiye, which is why the First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the second largest lender in the MENA region, is planning the takeover.

However, he did not offer any further detail saying that the transaction may be completed within a month or two.

"I think this is really good for them, of course, it is a huge bank in the Arab world, a huge amount of deposit they have and that asset is very large," he noted.

Türkiye and the Arab world are very close in terms of culture. That is very important because it increases investor appetite, he said.

Participation banks

Fattouh also pointed out the rapid growth of participation banks in the MENA region.

“There have been great developments in participation banking in the region and we have witnessed their development in Türkiye as well,” he said.

He added that the total assets of Arab participation banks have reached around $1 trillion.

Stressing the importance of Türkiye’s geographical location between the Middle East and Europe, Fattouh said: "We were very keen on coming to Istanbul and holding this conference here, bridging this economic relationship between Türkiye (and the Arab world). We have to understand the importance of Türkiye’s geographic location and high technology."

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