Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), Qatar’s Leading Islamic Bank, confirms that it has entered into exclusive discussions to acquire a strategic stake in Bank Asya, the largest participation (Islamic) Bank in Turkey. Turkey is a target market for QIB and has been identified in its international expansion strategy.QIB intends to support Bank Asya to realize its medium to long term growth targets and strengthen its position as the leading Islamic Bank in Turkey. QIB is seeking to finalize the transaction within the next few months, subject to obtaining the required regulatory approvals. QInvest is acting as financial adviser to QIB. Further announcements will be made in due course, QIB said in a statement .Established in 1996 and listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange in 2006, Bank Asya had TL 2.5 billion of shareholders’ equity, TL 29 billion of assets, TL 21 billion of cash financings and TL 19 billion of deposits as at year end 2013. In 2013, the Bank made TL 181 million of net profit. It is the largest Islamic Bank and the 13th largest Bank overall ranked by assets in the Turkish banking sector.Bank Asya has several non-banking financial subsidiaries including Isik Insurance, Tuna REIT, Asya Securities and Asya Venture Capital. Bank Asya provides innovative financial solutions to its 4.2 million customers via 281 branches, approximately 1,000 ATMs and 1,000 international correspondent banks. With a dynamic and innovative approach to retail banking, the Bank has served as a leading pioneer of Islamic banking for all of its 17 years’ history. In 2012, Bank Asya also established Asya Private Pension, Turkey’s first interest-free private pension fund company. In only its second year of operations, the company reached 200,000 members, which represents the fastest growth of any company in the Turkish private pension fund sector. QIB was established in 1982 as Qatar’s first Islamic financial institution. QIB has 35% market share of Qatar’s Islamic banking assets and 9% market share of the country’s total banking assets. QIB had QAR 13.7 billion of shareholders’ equity and QAR 77.3 billion of assets as at year end 2013.QIB has adopted a long term vision for international growth, and aspires to continue expanding its operations beyond the existing overseas markets. In addition to Qatar, QIB has operations in various countries including the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Lebanon and Sudan. It is worth mentioning that during 2013 Fitch affirmed QIB’s long term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘A’ with a stable outlook. Similarly Standard & Poor’s Rating Services has also maintained QIB’s Counterparty Credit Rating at ‘A-’ with a stable outlook which reflects the strong position in Qatar’s rapidly expanding Islamic banking market, favourable operating environment and strong capitalization.