BBVA pays $1.4B to lift its stake in Turkish Garanti to 86%

BBVA has paid TL 22.76 billion ($1.43 billion) for an additional 36.12% stake in Garanti following its voluntary takeover offer for the remaining shares of the Turkish bank it does not own, the Spanish lender announced on Wednesday.

After the end of the acceptance period, BBVA now owns an 85.97% stake in the Turkish bank, it said in a filing to Turkey’s stock market regulator.

Like bigger Spanish rival Santander, BBVA has been expanding in emerging economies to boost income.

Although analysts mostly agree that the Garanti deal makes sense from a financial point of view, many have highlighted macroeconomic risks from betting on emerging markets. They have cited uncertainty, including in Turkey, where inflation surged to a two-decade high of close to 70% in April.

Surpassing the 50% threshold in Garanti, with its acquisition of the further 36.12% stake,will allow BBVA to allocate more capital to the Turkish lender without launching an additional tender offer.

At the end of last month, BBVA had raised its bid for Garanti to TL 15 ($0.9404) per share from TL 12.20, or to 1.98 billion euros (nearly $2.1 billion) for the 50.15% stake of Garanti it did not already hold.

Despite increasing the offer by 23% to up to TL 31.59 billion in case of full acceptance, when valued in euros, BBVA’s bid was worth less than the 2.25 billion euros when it was initially announced on Nov. 15 because the Turkish currency has since depreciated by more than 28%.

BBVA Chief Executive Onur Genç said last month that the bank could start applying “hyperinflation accounting as early as in the second quarter” in Turkey.

Although Genç said the change could be positive for capital, he acknowledged it would result in a hit to earnings.

On Wednesday, BBVA said in a filing to the Spanish stock market supervisor that the acquisition of the 36.12% stake in Garanti had a negative impact of 23 basis points on its core tier-1 fully loaded capital ratio, the strictest measure of solvency.


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