Azerbaijan’s Pasha Bank will acquire a controlling stake in TAIB Yatirim Bank in a bid to capitalise on trade and investment flows between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, it says.

Pasha Bank has received regulatory approval to acquire a 79.2% stake in the Turkish bank from Aksoy Holding of Turkey for approximately US$80mn.

“We see significant potential in tapping the Turkish market and leveraging the opportunities represented by the close ties between the Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish business communities,” says Farid Akhundov, CEO of Pasha Bank. “Our main focus will continue to be on providing financial services to small and medium-sized enterprises and facilitating international trade between the countries of the region. We look forward to continuing our close co-operation with Aksoy Holding.”

Aksoy Holding will continue to hold the remaining 20% stake. Its CEO and vice-chairman Batu Aksoy, says: “Partnering with Pasha Bank and bringing foreign direct investment from Azerbaijan to Turkey’s vibrant banking sector is an important moment for us. We are confident that this partnership will yield a very successful, niche banking platform that will help businesses to grow both in Turkey and the wider region.”