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Burgan Bank gets c.bank approval for Turkish buy

Saturday, 6 Oct 2012 | 8:16 AM ET

KUWAIT, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Burgan Bank said on Saturday it had received approval from the Kuwaiti central bank for its planned purchase of Eurobank's Turkish arm.

Burgan said in April it planned to buy a 99.26 percent stake in Eurobank Tekfen. It will acquire 70 percent of the lender from Tekfen's Greek partner EFG Eurobank in a $355 million deal, while the remaining 29.26 percent stake will come from Tekfen Holding for an unknown sum.

Burgan, which is the commercial banking arm of Kuwait Projects Co (KIPCO) , said the deal still needs final approval from Turkey's regulators.

Eurobank Tekfen was put up for sale in July, as EFG Eurobank, Greece's second largest bank, sought to strengthen its capital base. The Kuwaiti lender said it will use internal funds for the deal.

While Greek banks seek to shore themselves up in the face of protracted recession, Gulf investors have been looking at Turkey as a natural target in the face of unrest in the Middle East and debt crises in Europe and the United States.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Catherine Evans)

((sylvia.westall@thomsonreuters.com)(+965 2240 8945)(Reuters Messaging: sylvia.westall.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: BURGANBANK TEFKEN/