Qatar's CBQ sees Turkish deal by end-March

Commercial Bank of Qatar expects to complete purchase of 75% stake in Alternatifbank

Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) has said it expects to complete the purchase of a 75 percent stake in Turkey's Alternatifbank by the end of March.

The Gulf state's third-largest bank by market value began talks in December with Anadolu Holding to acquire the stake, the latest example of Gulf lenders looking outside their home market for acquisition targets.

Alternatifbank has a current market value of $570m, meaning the stake would cost the Qatari bank $427.5m at market price.

The London stock exchange statement follows comments from Anadolu Holding Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan earlier this week, which said a deal should be completed by March 15.

CBQ's statement was issued to the London stock exchange, where it has depositary receipts listed.

Recent Qatari banks' strong interest in Turkey is likely to stem from the desire to diversify out of their home country's narrow economy, coupled with the lack of potential acquisitions in the Gulf region, Fitch Ratings said in a Jan 14 note.

Qatar National Bank, the Gulf state's largest lender, is interested in expanding into Turkey through acquisitions, its chief financial officer said on Wednesday, but had no firm targets currently.

It bid for Denizbank bank last year but lost out to Russia's Sberbank in the process.

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