Kuveyt Türk Participation Bank has taken on the restoration of the Ortaköy Mosque, embracing and preserving the historic structure under the Bank’s principles of social accountability to society and the world.
With a track record from 2005 of successfully undertaking restoration projects of historic structures to protect and preserve the cultural heritage, Kuveyt Turk commences the restoration of the Ortaköy Mosque. This follows the restoration of the Istanbul Azarkapı Saliha Sultan Public Fountain and the Bursa Kozahan Ablution Fountain.
The Great Mecidiye Mosque project, commonly known as the Ortaköy Mosque, has been scheduled by the General Directorate of Foundations and the restoration is expected to cost 3 million Turkish lira.
The project, scheduled to begin in May and last at least 18 months, was launched at a press conference held on Tuesday, May 3. The event was attended by Ufuk Uyan, Kuveyt Turk’s General Manager; Ibrahim Özekinci, Istanbul Foundations Director for the General Directorate of Foundations. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Ersen, lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture, Department of Restoration at Istanbul Technical University, will be the advisor to the project throughout the restoration.
Ufuk Uyan, General Manager for Kuveyt Turk, spoke at the conference, emphasizing that each company bears a significant responsibility to society and social stakeholders; today this is known as corporate social responsibility. Mr. Uyan said: "At Kuveyt Turk, our priority is focused on protecting our historical and cultural heritage, to bequeath to our future generations a nation ‘with a living heritage’. Driven by this mission, we are gratified to restore Ortaköy Mecidiye Mosque, a symbol of Ortaköy, and to protect this cultural heritage given to us by history". Reminding those present that Kuveyt Turk has been involved in corporate social responsibility projects since 2005, Mr. Uyan added: “In restoring the original structure of Ortaköy Mosque, which is owned by the General Directorate of Foundations, one of Kuveyt Turk Katilim Bank’s main shareholders, we regard this work as more than just a sponsorship program with a budget. We try to live it, so that we can integrate it together with our employees and clients”.
İbrahim Özekinci, Istanbul Foundations Director for the General Directorate of Foundations, noted that Kuveyt Turk’s support for this project was one of many milestones for Turkey’s cultural heritage and that the Bank has accelerated the preservation of Istanbul’s cultural and historic heritage. Stating that they continue to support projects to protect and preserve the noteworthy historic structures in Istanbul, Mr. Özekinci added that restoration projects for other historic structures owned by the General Directorate of Foundations would begin in the near future.
Prof. Dr. Ahmet Ersen, the advisor for the 18-month project, emphasized that it was critical to restore these historic structures in accordance with their original texture and that the scientific advisory committee will confirm that the project is conducted accordingly, ensuring the conservation of the original structure.
Kuveyt Türk concluded its twenty third Regular General Assembly with a meeting in which members of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer Ufuk Uyan and Kuveyt Türk partners were in attendance. The meeting began with Kuveyt Türk Chief Executive Officer Ufuk Uyan’s presentation of the agenda, after which participants were informed about the 2010 Annual Report and annual financial statement. According to the statement given during the General Assembly, the company’s profit at the end of 2010, one hundred and fifty nine billion, five million Turkish lira (TL), reflected a 26 percent increase on last year. In his speech, Mr. Uyan stated that Kuveyt Türk’s financial and operational performance during the 2010 fiscal year, in which it increased its non-consolidated assets by 41 percent and its collected funds by 40 percent compared to 2009, brought them up to nine billion seven hundred and twenty seven million TL and eight billion twenty one million TL, respectively. “During this term, the total amount our bank provided its customers increased by 50 percent, rising from four billion six hundred and fifty one million TL to six billion nine hundred and seventy two million TL,” he said. “Our non-cash risk balance, which was three billion three hundred and thirty one million TL in 2009, rose 12 percent to reach three billion seven hundred and thirty million TL in 2010.” Kuveyt Türk’s policy of consistent growth continued in 2010, with 158 branches at the time of the report. The number of employees increased by 390 to a total of 2,837 people, a significant increase. In 2010 Kuveyt Türk became the first bank to establish an exchange-traded fund in Turkey, with the GoldPlus Exchange Traded Fund. During the same period Kuveyt Türk also carried out Turkey’s first sukuk export of $100 million. Kuveyt Türk also took important steps in the field of private pensions and insurances, offering its extremely beneficial interest-free retirement system first to its employees and their families and then to its customers from 2011.
Kuveyt Türk adds another “first” to banking; leads the way in gram gold distribution from ATMs in Turkey. Kuveyt Türk has added yet another service to its comprehensive roster with the launch of gold distribution from ATMs (automated teller machines). Kuveyt Türk is the first bank worldwide to develop this investment product of gold-based revenue and profit/loss sharing. The Bank will offer its customers the opportunity to withdraw one or 1.5 gram units of gold from ATMs. Gold prepared specifically for the Kuveyt Türk ATMs by the İstanbul Gold Refinery will be used in these transactions. Gold purchases can be conducted with credit cards or cash. UP TO 150 GOLD-GIVING ATMs WILL BE AVAILABLE BY AUGUST İrfan Yılmaz, Kuveyt Türk’s executive vice president for retail banking, emphasized that special security measures have been ensured for ATMs used in this service. He said, “Starting this month, our clients can access the service in the areas determined as pilot regions. Starting in August, we intend to provide this service from 150 machines.” Stating that Kuveyt Türk would continue to develop innovative gold banking products, Mr. Yılmaz said, “It is estimated that up to five thousand tons of gold is kept in private households in Turkey. But gold kept the house is not useful to Turkey’s economy. Our goal is to provide appealing products and services, so that we can help convince those who see gold as a source of investment to put it in the banks; thus adding those assets to the nation’s economy.”
Being the innovative product of Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank, SUKUK continues to attract a great deal of attention from the entire global finance world. Within the scope of the awards granted every year by Islamic Finance News, Kuveyt Turk, which was deemed worthy of the awards “BEST TRANSACTION IN THE FIELD OF SUKUK”, “BEST TRANSACTION OF THE YEAR IN TURKEY” and “BEST TRANSACTION OF THE YEAR” as a result of the SUKUKs it issued last year, was granted the “Most Innovative Deal” a few weeks ago thanks to this product by Euromoney Magazine which is followed by the important sectoral executives of the world. A model for new SUKUK issuances. Emphasizing that their goal for the coming period was to realize the issuance of SUKUKs for the first 5 years of Turkey following the SUKUKs of $100 million which had been issued in the previous year, Mr. Uyan stated that they were planning to generalize SUKUKs further as a financial instrument. Mr. Uyan highlighted that the studies they carried out would serve as a model for the new SUKUKs to be issued in Turkey and said “We aim at reaching long-term capital market investors by means of 5-year issuance.” Indicating that SUKUK was a highly important instrument for Turkey in finding source of long-term financing, Ufuk Uyan, CEO of Kuveyt Turk, said “The procurement of medium- and long-term sources by Participation Banks from international markets shall both make positive contributions to the asset-liability management of these banks and provide their customers with the opportunity of longer-term and lower-cost financing.” Mr. Uyan emphasized that SUKUKs would have an effect on the deepening of the market by offering the opportunity of investment in terms of new individual pension products, which had found a field of application in Turkey, and added “Thanks to SUKUK, the banks of our country get the chance of having a new market and a new product in reaching the source of Gulf, which has been limited to corporate company and bank financing until today. Providing retail and corporate investors with the opportunity to invest in the assets of our country, this product gains depth and currency owing to its efficient secondary market.”
Within the scope of the Islamic Banking Awards organized by Euromoney every year, Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank was awarded for the SUKUK it issued. Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank Inc. was granted the “Most Innovative Deal” award for the issuance of Turkey’s first SUKUK in 2010 within the scope of the Islamic Banking Awards conferred by Euromoney magazine.
Receiving the award at the ceremony that took place at the Landmark London Hotel, Ufuk Uyan, CEO of Kuveyt Turk, indicated the importance for Kuveyt Turk of the award bestowed for the issuance of SUKUK by a prominent publication group, highly esteemed in the financial markets. Mr. Uyan said that with SUKUK, Kuveyt Turk had launched a long-awaited but, up to now unrealized, operation in Turkey and introduced a new product and brought depth to financial markets. Mr. Uyan added that “SUKUK bonds have become a new vehicle for international investors to invest in Turkey’s assets, as well as a new means for Turkish banks and companies in terms of long-term borrowing from international markets.
In this context, our transaction receiving an award by prominent institutions is gratifying, as it proves that our objective is right and that the transaction is noteworthy.” “It shall be a model for new issuance from Turkey” Mr. Uyan emphasized that Kuveyt Turk’s issuance of SUKUK had been of key importance to global investors and the issuance had drawn significant interest, greatly appreciated not only at home but also abroad and continued “SUKUK has unveiled a new market for investors. We believe in the significance of this issuance, and it shall also be a model for others that will follow.” With a wide scope of application in the Gulf Region and in Malaysia, this financial product would be used in an even wider region in the following years, said Mr. Uyan, and declared that “Sukuk is also very important in terms of Turkey’s access to long-term funding. With its leading role, as Kuveyt Turk, we shall continue executing initiatives in international markets.”
Chairman of Kuwait Finance House, Bader Al – Mukhaizeem, announced that, in 2010, they had derived a total revenue of 736.2 million Kuwaiti Dinar and their gross profit had reached 273.4 million Kuwaiti Dinar. Explaining the 2010 figures of Kuwait Finance House (KFH), Mr. Al-Mukhaizeem expressed that their net profit had been 105.9 million Kuwaiti Dinar and the profit of their investors had reached 162.8 million Kuwaiti Dinar.
In his statement, Al-Mukhaizeem indicated that 20% Profit Share to be distributed to shareholders by the Board of Directors had been approved and said that, following the approval of the General Assembly, 8% bonus would be provided to shareholders. Furthermore, it was told in the statement that the total assets of Kuwait Finance House had increased by 1.3 billion Kuwaiti Dinar in 2010 and reached 12.5 billion Kuwaiti Dinar with a growth of 11% compared to the previous year.
In the same statement, it was indicated that the total deposit participation funds had increased by 387 million Kuwaiti Dinar and reached 7.6 billion Kuwaiti Dinar with an increase of 5% compared to the previous year. In 2010, the equities of KFH increased by 48 million Kuwaiti Dinar and reached 1.290 billion Kuwaiti Dinar with a growth of 4%. Regarding the results obtained, ”Our operational improvement strategy plays a significant role in obtaining such successful results. Moreover, as KFH, we have focused on employing state-of-the-art technology in the field of banking. These successful practices have resulted in financial achievements as well as nearly 20 awards bestowed by international authorities in 2010” said Al-Mukhaizeem. Stating that KFH Group had successively carried out its activities in the Gulf region, Turkey, Malaysia, USA and Europe as planned, Al- Mukhaizeem added that KFH had assumed a crucial role in the reliable economies all over the world with 220 branches.