Turkey’s Isbank is looking to grow its operations in Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iraq and Syria, as it ramps up its international ambitions.
Isbank’s general manager Ersin Özince told Turkish newspaper Milliyet: “We are considering opening new branches in Baku [the Azerbaijan capital], Cairo and [Iraqi cities] Baghdad, Erbil, Kerkuk and Sulaymaniyah.”
In addition, Isbank is looking to open branches in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo.
Özince added that the bank’s German subsidiary, Isbank GmbH, is looking to expand its branch network and has already acquired a banking license from Bulgarian authorities to open a branch in the country’s capital Sofia.
He said that Isbank does not want to have a “collection” of banks in different countries.
“We can’t buy a bank in every potential country but we can consider appropriate opportunities [to open branches].”
“For instance, [the government of] Iraq understands this approach despite being a country of high potential [for banking]. It knows the strength of the Isbank brand. It allows us to open a branch because it knows that the Isbank brand would benefit [the country] more than a small bank. We will invest $7million in capital per branch.”
Isbank has previously announced plans to grow its domestic Turkish branch network from 1,135 to 1,200 outlets in the next 12 months.