Interview: H.Cenk Eynehan
“We Are Financial Bridge Between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia.”
We have talked with H. Cenk Eynehan, the CEO of PASHA Bank for Turkey about the story of establishment of PASHA Bank and its objectives in Turkey.
Could you please tell us about the story of PASHA Bank as of its establishment in Turkey in the year 1987 as the first foreign-capitalized investment bank until today?
Our Bank is Turkey’s first invest¬ment bank with foreign capital, founded in Istanbul with the title of Yatırım Bank A.Ş., and, until 2015 it has rendered services under the ma¬nagement of different investment groups. In 2015, the principal sha¬reholder Aksoy Holding has struck hands with the Baku-based regio¬nal financial institution PASHA Bank OJSC, which it had been working as a strategic partner with, and trans¬ferred all the shares of the bank, and the new title of the bank has been changed into PASHA Investment Bank Inc.
Could you tell us about the objectives of PASHA Bank in Turkey? To what extent were you able to achie¬ve your goals since the day of your incorporation?
As PASHA Bank, we have started out to provide sustainable banking services to our corporate customers who would like to grow in Turkey as well as the triangle which also includes Azerbaijan and Georgia. While offering corporate and investment banking products to our customers within the framework of boutique banking, we would like to establish maintainable relationships with them in the long run. During the two years in which we have operated in Turkey, we have expanded our bank twice as much and made works that generate added value in the field of foreign trade. In 2016, we have put the models intended for project and business capital financing into effect. We have guaranteed our customers’ future receivables arising from sales within the structure of PASHA Bank and by providing the necessary financing support we have broken new ground in the region that covers Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
There are more than 5,000 companies currently operate in Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, and the total foreign trade volume between these three countries is approximately 4.5 billion US Dollars. In order to contribute to the development of the trade in the said countries, we would like to develop the relations between the enterprises throughout the territory and establish long-lasting collabora¬tion based on mutual win-win principle for all the parties concerned in the countries of operation.
Can we hear about your short and mid-term goals?
In our 3-years strategy covering the years of 2015 and 2016, we have closed the first two years with growth and profitability exceeding our targets. We believe that we will reach our goal this year as well. We have already started our second three years strategy works covering the years from 2018 to 2020 as well.
In accordance with our objecti¬ve to become the main bank of the entrepreneurs who occupy in inter¬national trade within the triangle of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia and also to facilitate regional business partnerships, we shall endeavor to create an increasing value for all our stakeholders, thus to carry them to higher levels by diversifying our product and service range in the year of 2017.
We think that, the Turkish economy and the banking sector shall continue their modest growth. Alt-hough we foresee that the credit growth of the sector would be in the range of 10 to 12 percent, our goal as PASHA Bank is to reach a credit growth at a level of 25 percent.
How do the projects coming into prominence between the three countries affect the relations?
In the field of energy, TANAP Project is one of the most important rep¬resentatives of the projects which Turkey and Azerbaijan have brought off. Another project is the Baku-Tbi¬lisi-Kars Railway Project called “Iron Silk Road”. The project is expected to be completed in 2018, which shall form a corridor that would enable Turkey and all the Central Asian, Caucasian and Asian countries to reach Europe much more easily.
Completion of these huge projects shall provide significant contributions to the economy. In this sense, although the next period shall be the period developing the relations in the triangle of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, we, as PASHA Bank, shall also be supporting this process economically and culturally.
What do you do in sense of investment banking?
In 2016, we have mediated a merger-acquisition transaction in the field of Investment Banking and through this transaction realized; we have administered to create financial resources through thirteen individual investors and one international institutional investor for a young company operating in the field of orthodontics. In this context, in line with our objectives, we shall be continuing to be involved in the merger and acquisition processes of innovative and value adding companies during the upcoming period as well. We aim to increase our bank’s diversity in external sources in 2017 too. In the year of 2016 we have issued our first bond in this context. Last week we have issued our second bond and we seen a pretty high demand. Our bond issuance shall also continue throughout 2017 in varying maturities and amounts.
How would you assess global risks?
Global markets, which have started the year of 2016 modestly, have followed a positive course during the first half of the year as a result of strong recovery in oil prices, strong indications by the Federal Reserve that it would no be as aggressive as it has previously mentioned, and the European Central Bank’s new steps towards expansion and also the increase in the glo¬bal risk appetite. Nevertheless, as a consequence of the unfavorable and unpriced developments experienced during the second half of the year, we have witnessed aggressive price movements affecting all the global markets. As PASHA Bank, we have closed the year of 2016, which has been a very hectic, with a profit of 14 million Turkish Liras by monitoring the market very closely and taking necessary actions in a timely manner.
Do you have investments in the field of technology?
We work to provide products and services in accordance with the needs and expectations of our customers. One of these services is Internet Banking. For a bank of our scale, we have invested heavily in Internet Banking in order to provide better service to our customers; and we shall continue to invest in this area to further develop it, and use this channel to meet our customers’ demands efficiently and promptly.
How would you rate the economic relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey?
Turkey is the country where Azerbaijan makes most of its investments at. With the advantage that PASHA Bank Azerbaijan is the largest private equity banking group in the country, we shall be continuing to contribute to increase the sales of our customers exporting in the region as well as foreign trade volume between these two countries. When we look at the strategic projects between the two countries, we see that the energy investments have a significant share in Turkey’s becoming an energy corridor. Besides the pipelines, Petkim and Star Refinery are also two rather important investments. These and similar investments shall further increase the trade volume between the two countries in the upcoming period. As PASHA Bank we shall too support these improving economic relations.
How do you evaluate entrepreneurship of Turkish people?
Universities in Turkey are creating platforms for entrepreneurs. We are also working to encourage entrepreneurship and to support entrepreneurs. We believe that creative ideas of young entrepreneurs should especially be supported. When this is realized, I think that Turkey shall have even finer prospects before her. Brain power has important and triggering effects on the economy. For this, it is necessary to give the entrepreneurs way in every field, primarily in the field of technology. We support entrepreneurs as an investment bank. In this sense, by means of a Merger and Acquisition process we have executed, we have administered to create financial resources through individual and institutional investors for a young company operating in the field of orthodontics within the core structure of Istanbul Technical University.
''WE ARE STRENGTHENING ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL RELATIONS’’
H. Cenk Eynehan, the General Manager of PASHA Bank Turkey, told in an exclusive interview he made with Kamuran Abacıoğlu, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ekovitrin about PASHA Bank’s multiple missions.
ArTriangle ‘Urban Stories’ Photography Exhibition
“As PASHA Bank we would like to be a bridge in terms of cultural relations as well. The ArTriangle ‘Urban Stories’ Photograph Exhibition which reflects our common life culture constitutes the last ring to clinch this triangle.”
We know that as PASHA Bank, you have recently realized the ArTriangle ‘Urban Stories’ Photograph Exhibition within the scope of cultural and artis¬tic activities. Could you tell us a little about this exhibition?
While contributing to the develop¬ment of the regional trade between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, we have also purposed to blend our cul¬tural structures with artistic bonds. As PASHA Bank, we do not want to make do with being only a financial bridge between Azerbaijan and Turkey. At the same time, we would like to be a bridge in terms of cultural relations. ArTriangle Urban Stories’ Photograph Exhibition, which reflects our common life culture, constitutes the last ring to clinch this triangle. In the month of December, we have presented our exhibition, which shall carry our long-lasting collaborati¬ons between these three countries to eternity, to art-lovers.
We did an artistic work for this ex¬hibition by taking the most beautiful photographs of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia in collaboration with one of our valuable photographers. We have staged an exhibition consisting of the photographs of people taken on the streets of Baku, Tbilisi and Istanbul. Our exhibition, which was open to visitors from December 21 to January 31, att¬racted great interest. 49 photographs, selected from thousands of beautiful images, were presented to art-lovers. With this cultural project I have mentio¬ned, we have introduced the wonderful cities of these three countries to each other by photographing them. This pro¬ject was an important effort demonst¬rating that we have a mission in the cul¬tural field besides our economic goals.
As PASHA Bank, we do not want to make do with being only a financial bridge between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia. At the same time, we would like to be a bridge in terms of cultural relations. We would like to introduce, to explain the cultures of these three countries to each other.