25 Aralık 2011 Pazar

Deputy PM silent on pressure on lenders

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan neither denied nor confirmed pressure on French investment banks in Turkey to leave the country after the parliamentary approval of a bill on punishing any denial of Armenian genocide allegations.

“If France continues to insist on the bill, Turkey can launch new economic sanctions on France,” Babacan said to the Hürriyet Daily News, telling of the sanction announced by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA) would smoothly and quietly pass such a message to the banks,” if such a decision was made, he said on the sidelines of a meeting with Banks Association of Turkey (TBB) Dec. 23. 

Due to the political tension between the countries, Turkey’s economic administration recently asked two French investment banks to end all their operations in Turkey and leave the country, reported Sabah, a Turkish daily, Dec. 22.

Erdoğan announced only the first stage of sanctions and there will be further stages, Babacan said. 
“There is no doubt that we will have some sanctions as the bill moves stage by stage through the French Parliament,” Babacan said. Turkey would take further actions should France move further to make the bill a law in the future.

“We have not received any inquiries yet on the issue, but still, executives are concerned,” a source told the Daily News by phone Dec. 22. The source from a French investment bank active in Turkey was speaking under the condition of anonymity.

“The claims are baseless,” said Yesim Sözen, an expert from the banking regulator, in an email response to Daily News questions.

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