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Spain's BBVA buys stake in Turkey's Garanti for +5.8 bln, eyes more

Spain's BBVA buys stake in Turkey's Garanti for +5.8 bln, eyes more

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Spain's second-largest bank, has agreed to pay $5.8 billion for a 24.9-percent stake in Turkish lender Garanti Bank. The bank could take full control of the bank in five years, expanding further into Europe's fastest-growing economy, BBVA said in a statement. BBVA will purchase 6.3 percent of the bank from Dogus Holding for $2.06 billion and 18.6 percent from General Electric for $3.78 billion, it said in a filing to regulators yesterday. It will finance the deal with a rights offering. The company is seeking to reduce its reliance on Spain, which accounts for about half of its profit, compared with 22 percent at larger rival Banco Santander, as the economy struggles to emerge from its worst recession in 60 years. Turkey's economy grew 10.3 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, matching China's growth rate as the fastest expansion in the period among the Group of 20 major economies. "BBVA is investing in a part of the world where growth prospects are very encouraging," said Alberto Espelosin, who helps manage about $12 billion at Ibercaja Gestion. "I'd much rather they invest there than spend money on banks in mature markets."

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