Qatar's QFIB buys stake in Turkish retailer

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Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB), has announced the acquisition of a 40 percent stake in Turkish retailer English Home.

The acquisition marks QFIB's first venture into the retail sector and the second in the Turkish market, it said in a statement.

Abdulla Bin Fahad Al Marri, QFIB chairman, said: "This acquisition is our second in Turkey which has recently received an 'investment grade' by Fitch due to its high-performing economy.

"Our venture into the retail sector comes at an opportune time, as consumer spending in Turkey is expected to increase along with an increase in foreign direct investment."

English Home, established in 2008, is a home textile retailer with a strong presence in the Turkish market.

Its number of stores has increased from three in 2008 to more than 115 in 2012 across Turkey and the Ukraine in addition to franchises in Cyprus, Albania, Azerbaijan and Iraq.

Emad Mansour, CEO of QFIB, added: "We are very excited to venture into the retail sector, specifically in Turkey which has a vibrant retail market driven by a population with an increasing purchasing power.

"We are looking forward to working with the Aydin Family to further cement the position of English Home in the Turkish market and accelerate its growth."

Post-acquisition, QFIB said its role will be to assist the firm in achieving its ambitious growth targets.

Yasar Aydin, chairman of Turgut Aydin Holding Company said: "We are very pleased to welcome QFIB as a shareholder in English Home.

"Given Turkey's favourable market dynamics, we are confident that with QFIB's support we will be able to capitalise on the growing demand for home textiles and to further build upon English Home's recent success."

QFIB said in October it will invest $150m in Kuwait Energy Co to support the firm's expansion.

Unlisted QFIB acquired a $16m stake in Kuwait Energy in June 2011, a statement said.

The Qatari investment company plans to list on the Doha stock exchange by November, its chief executive said earlier this year.

QFIB made a net profit of $25.8m in 2011, up 20 percent from 2010, according to the company's website.

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