October 21, 2011 / 12:48 AM / 8 years ago

HSBC has eyes on Dexia's Turkish unit - report

A man walks past Belgian-French financial services group Dexia headquarters in Brussels October 10, 2011. REUTERS/Yves Herman

PARIS (Reuters) - HSBC (HSBA.L) is weighing a bid for the Turkish retail operations of Franco-Belgian investment bank Dexia DEXIA.UL, The Financial Times said without citing its sources.

For HSBC, the deal would strengthen its position in Turkey where it has been present for two decades and further its aim to expand in emerging markets.

Two other bidders, including the Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA) are also interested in the Turkish unit, which could be worth up to $6 billion (3 billion pounds).

Sberbank SBER03.MM, Russia’s No.1 lender, has also said it was looking at the bank as a potential acquisition target but had yet to begin talks last week.

Denizbank is seen as one of Dexia’s best assets and a cheap way into the Turkish market, where banking licences are hard to obtain. A strong recovery from the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 has persuaded many long-term investors to look at Turkey.

Middle East unrest and debt crises in Europe and North America have made Turkish firms a natural target for Gulf investors, lured by the region’s growth prospects.

Reporting By Leila Abboud; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters

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