TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL

Adnan Ahmed Yousif, chairman of the Union of Arab Banks (UAB), has said banks from the Gulf are looking for Turkish banks to acquire.
Speaking at the “Enhancing Shamgen Banking: Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan” conference in İstanbul on Tuesday, Yousif said big Arab banks such as Al Rajah Bank, Qatar National Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank were seeking opportunities to become established in Turkey by purchasing a national bank.

He said regional countries have the potential to grow more if they cooperate more. “We need more cooperation in the banking and finance sector in the coming period. Globalization forces us to become involved in more joint projects,” Yousif said, referring to a regional cooperation agreement in the field of banking that was signed between Turkey and three of its southern neighbors with whom it envisions establishing a single market, an example of regional economic cooperation that many said on Monday was the Middle East version of the European Union.

This aim of the agreement is to support and facilitate trade and investments between Turkey, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The four countries also earlier signed free trade and visa-exemption agreements to improve trade and bilateral cooperation amongst themselves.

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