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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Islamic lender Bank Asya 2008 net profit up 11.4 pct

ISTANBUL, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Leading Turkish Islamic lender Bank Asya (ASYAB.IS) said its unconsolidated net profit rose 11.4 percent in 2008 to 246.5 million lira ($146 million) from 221.3 million lira a year earlier.

Bank Asya, which does not pay or charge interest but shares out part of its profit among depositors, said in a filing with the Istanbul Stock Exchange that its assets grew 29.5 percent to 8.109 billion lira from 6.260 billion a year earlier.

Bank Asya, with the determination and guidance of its founders, was established on October 24, 1996 as the sixth private finance house in Turkey. Business operations began with the opening of its head office and main branch in Altunizade. Establishment capital was TL 2 Million and current paid-up capital is TL 900 Million.

Bank Asya was established in accordance with the principles of interest-free banking and with an emphasis on product development based on this idea. Our most important goal is to incorporate a customer-oriented approach, offering our clients the best customer service possible along with the most advanced technology available to us, thus being able to bring interest-free banking to the masses. In this direction, as of May 2008 Bank Asya has 124 domestic branches and 2 domestic correspondent relationships. In addition to this, Asya is proud to conduct business activities and have correspondent relations with over 1000 foreign banks.

Bank Asya is the first Private Finance House to be awarded the ISO 9001 Quality Management System Certificate. Asya provides its individual, small business, and corporate banking clients with all their banking needs while meeting and exceeding their expectations. Besides the traditional access channels that are our branches, Bank Asya provides internet banking, ALO ASYA telephone banking, ATM and POS terminals all with no restraints on time. All methods are fast and effective with no interruption.

In addition to the preceding, Asya is the forerunner in several other areas as well. Bank Asya was honored to be the first participation bank in Turkey to be assigned to act as an intermediary bank for the GSM 102 and GSM 103 programs of the Commodity Credit Corporation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Furthermore, Asya is authorized to conduct international trade activities under ECA coverage such as US-Exim, Hermes, Ducroire, etc. In addition to this, VISA international accepted Bank Asya as a principal member. Finally, Asya was the first participation bank in Turkey to receive a rating from Fitch Ratings as a part of its effort for full transparency.

The following two fundamental principles are what Bank Asya strives for. They are what Asya feels is necessary for its development and to be able to reach its target market share.

* To develop new interest free banking products and to offer our customers new derivative products.

* To take products that are already being offered at conventional banks and adapt them in such a way as to fit into the system of interest-free banking.

Bank Asya' regularly reinforces its work principles, vision, and mission to its employees. Asya believes strongly that working together as a team and that believing in oneself as an individual are two components that our employees must possess. As a result, these ideas have become main elements of our corporate culture.

The Islamic banking sector has been in recent years growing fast in mainly Muslim, European Union candidate Turkey. (Writing by Daren Butler)

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