Turkey sets June 23 deadline for bids for Islamic lender Bank Asya

Türkiye Materials 24 May 2016 16:22 (UTC +04:00)

Turkish regulators set a June 23 deadline for bids in the sale of seized Islamic lender Bank Asya on May 24, while saying that the bank could still be liquidated if no buyer can be found Hurriyet Daily News reportred

The bank, which was owned by interests said to be close to the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, was taken over by the state last year. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the government accuse Gulen, a former close ally, of trying to overthrow the government by building a network of supporters in the judiciary, the police and the media.

Since being seized, Bank Asya has been managed by the Turkish Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF).

Bids will be accepted until June 23, with the tender to be held a day later, the TMSF said in a statement in the government's Official Gazette, as Reuters has reported.

"The tender will either be held through an auction or a negotiation, depending on the number of bids," the TMSF said.

The bank is due to be liquidated if no buyer can be found.

The tender was for the sale of a minimum of 183.6 million "A" shares, amounting to 51 percent of the bank, with an estimated price set at 0.7 lira per share, the TMSF said, as quoted by Reuters.

That would value the bank at around 252 million liras ($84 million).

At its height, it had a market value of more than $2 billion, according to Reuters data.

Within the framework of the existing legal situation, the return of the bank to its shareholders is not possible, the TMSF said in March, adding that it had given the bank a three-month deadline from Feb. 29 to find a buyer or be merged.