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BBVA, the Spanish bank, has launched a € 2 billion bid for the 50.15% stake in Garanti, Turkey’s largest bank by market capitalization, which it does not yet own, using funds from its own sale recent US assets.

The 25.7 billion TL (2.25 billion euros) acquisition price represents a 34% premium over the average Guaranteed share price over the past six months and is the latest proposal for the use of funds BBVA on the $ 11.6 billion it took from the sale of its US assets to PNC this year.

“The sale of the US subsidiary offers us a strategic option to, among other things, invest excess capital in our main markets,” said Onur Genc, ​​CEO of BBVA, originally from Garanti.

BBVA is implementing a share buyback plan of 3.5 billion euros up to 10% of its shares, one of the largest in Europe.

Garanti’s purchase takes place against the depreciation of the Turkish lira, whose purchasing power in euros fell to about a quarter of what it was in November 2014, when BBVA agreed to pay 2 billion euros for a stake of 14.89 in Garanti, a transaction that was completed in 2015.

“The price is very attractive for the minority shareholders of Garanti BBVA,” said Carlos Torres, executive chairman of BBVA. “Turkey is a strategic market for us and, despite the short-term volatility, has great potential.”

Guaranteed, which has more than 21,000 employees and 1,000 branches, says it is the country’s most profitable bank, with a return on equity of 19.3% and a non-performing loan rate of 4%.

BBVA has controlled the Garanti board of directors since 2015. It has agreed to increase its stake to 49.85% in 2017.

The latest proposed transaction, which BBVA expects to close in the first quarter of next year following regulatory approvals, would boost the Spanish lender’s profits by fully consolidating those of Garanti.

BBVA said the transaction will increase earnings per share by 13.7% in 2022.


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