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13-10-2011

Francisco González: "Turkey is one of BBVA's strategic markets"

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“Turkey is one of BBVA’s strategic markets” said BBVA Chairman & CEO Francisco González at the Spain-Turkey Investment & Cooperation Conference held at CEOE. González also noted, “We could not have found a better partner than the Doğuş Group, one of Turkey’s most successful and internationally acclaimed industrial conglomerates and financial services providers.”

Francisco González spoke at the conference alongside the Chairman of the Doğuş Group, Ferit Sahenk. The BBVA Chairman & CEO gave an overview of the main economic indicators for Turkey, which is included in the group of EAGLEs (Emerging and Growth Leading Economies) for its potential growth. According to BBVA’s estimates, the EAGLEs will account for 50% of global growth over the next decade, compared to just 14% by the G7. These countries are also set to lead global demand in that period. “Turkey has the strongest growth potential of any European economy. Forecast growth is considerably higher for Turkey than for any other large emerging or developing economy,” he explained.

Turkey also has one of the youngest and broadest populations in Europe, with 75 million. Half of the Turkish population is under 30. “This country is strategically located, with millions of people in surrounding countries. It also enjoys political stability and disciplined economic policies. And its financial system is one of the most attractive in Europe, with a low level of banking penetration and huge potential” said González.

He underscored that for these reasons, “Turkey is one of BBVA’s strategic markets. It has coped up well during the crisis and should continue to contribute to the BBVA Group’s growth over the long term.”

He went on to say “In 2010, BBVA acquired 25% of Garanti Bank with an investment of ¤4 billion in a deal showing our long-term commitment to Turkey.” In this respect, he noted “The 50/50 partnership with Dogus is working well. Our focus is long term, with the aim of benefiting both parties, similar to the strategy in other markets where BBVA has operations, such as Latin America. And, in my opinion, Garanti has the best franchise in Turkey.” The two banks operate in a variety of businesses, including cash management, corporate, retail and investment banking, consumer finance, credit cards and asset management.

With 10 million customers, Garanti is an efficient and profitable financial institution, with a staff of highly skilled professionals and innovative products. It is Turkey’s largest bank by market capitalization and one of the country’s leading financial institutions, with a 13.3% market share.

“Garanti and BBVA share the same views on principles and innovation” said Francisco González. Regarding principles, he referred to financial institutions that have ignored prudence, integrity and transparency during the crisis. “That is not BBVA’s case,” he pointed out. “We have remained committed to our principles and long-term view, while others have concentrated on generating short-term profits, assuming too many risks without thinking about the medium- and long-term implications.”

He said that thanks to this strategy “BBVA is uniquely positioned. It has never been stronger, judging by how its earnings have held up and by its ability to grow.” González recalled that BBVA is second most profitable bank in Europe and the leader in efficiency.

Regarding technology and innovation, Francisco González described the changes that are transforming the global economy in all sectors and businesses. In banking, technology affects costs and revenues. BBVA and Garanti are adapting with new platforms and hefty investment in technology.

“One thing we have in common with Garanti is the objective of achieving the most efficient, advanced and customer-oriented platform” concluded the BBVA Chairman & CEO.

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