KFH and Markaz say Turkish lira slide impact on their investments minimal

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Kuwait Finance Center’s investments in Turkey amounts to $5.72mn, less than 2% of shareholders’ equity

DUBAI, Aug 14, (Agencies): Kuwait Finance House (KFH), the country’s second-biggest lender by assets, said on Tuesday that its Turkey financing portfolio is stable and diversified between the Turkish lira and major foreign currencies.

The Turkish lira has gone into freefall over concerns about the direction of monetary policy under President Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey’s worsening relations with the United States.

KFH’s Turkish business operates through more than 400 branches and has nearly 6,000 employees.

The Kuwaiti lender said it was closely monitoring events in Turkey and that it continues to achieve strong and continuous growth rates at all levels of the financing portfolio.

In other related news, Kuwait Financial Centre’s “Markaz” total investments in Turkey amounts to $5.72 million, which consists of a 50% ownership in a real estate development project. The “apartment for sale” project is located in the Beyoglu area of Istanbul, said the company’s COO Ali H. Khalil, noting that the investment represents less than 2% of Markaz shareholders’ equity as of June 30, 2018.

“The project is being funded with equity without any debt, therefore, Markaz is not under pressure to sell and can wait for the market to recover to maximize its return on investment.” added  Khalil.

“Prime properties in Turkey are quoted and transacted in US Dollars. The adverse economic and currency situation may affect demand in the near term, and will slow down our sales, but the impact, if any, on our financial condition will not be material. We are closely monitoring the situation to assess our sales strategy.  We have an excellent project and are willing to be patient to realize value over the medium-term,” he said.

The project is located in the Beyoglu area of Istanbul, the first area to be developed outside of the historic peninsula and considered the cultural centre of the city. It consists of 33 residential units with an average size of (123m2) per unit, one commercial unit, and is unique in the area because of its proximity to the Metro, the underground parking, the communal gardens, and the views of the Bosphorous. Construction of the project is under progress and is expected to be completed in early 2019.

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