ISTANBUL - Reuters
Turkey's GSD Holding has received initial bids to buy a stake in its Tekstilbank unit and the process of elimination has begun, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters Friday.Textile group GSD Holding said in March it was working on a possible sale or partnership for Tekstilbank and media reports have said Lebanese businessman Adnan Kassar was interested in buying the small lender."The first bids have been made and some banks have pulled out of the process. One of the banks to pull out was Doha Bank," said one source.Another source also said Qatar's Doha Bank had withdrawn from the process. GSD Holding and Tekstilbank declined to comment.Tekstilbank started work on assessing strategic options such as a possible sale, partnership or cooperation deal in March. JP Morgan was appointed to advise on the deal."We also know that Emirates is among the bank's interested in Tekstilbank," said another source.Emirates NBD, the leading Gulf Arab lender by assets, said on Aug 5 it was looking at buying opportunities in the Turkish banking sector. Turkey has been a major target for foreign buyers attracted by strong lending growth.GSD Holding has a 75.5 percent stake in Tekstilbank, according to information on the lender's Web site. The remaining stake is traded on the Istanbul Stock Exchange.The bank has paid-in capital of YTL 420 million. Based on the current share price it has a market value of YTL 739 million ($624 million).