Italian financial services group UniCredit is reportedly planning to divest its stake in Turkish lender Yapi Kredi Bank.

Koc Financial Services (KFS), a joint venture firm of UniCredit and Koc Group, holds an 81.9% stake in Yapi Kredi Bank. The remaining 18.1% is publicly traded on local stock exchange Borsa Istanbul.

UniCredit is planning to sell its 50% stake in KFS to its partner Koc, Reuters reported citing sources familiar with the matter.

The Italian financial group confirmed the move. However, it added that a deal is yet to be finalised.

If it advances, the deal will make Koc the majority shareholder of Yapi Kredi Bank.

Sources told the news agency that the divestment may initiate UniCredit’s withdrawal from Turkey, entangled in recession.

Further, the sale will be aligned with UniCredit’s ongoing restructuring to boost its balance sheet.

With a market value of $3.7bn, Yapi Kredi is one of the largest banks in the country.

The bank offers retail banking, private banking, wealth management as well as corporate and commercial banking services.

It also operates international banking subsidiaries in the Netherlands, Malta and Azerbaijan.

Overall, Yapi Kredi has 854 branches in Turkey and 17,577 employees.

According to its website, the bank holds deposit market share of 16.1% among private banks.

It has 9.8% market share in non-cash loans, while cash loan market share stands at 9.2%.