Emirates NBD reaches new agreement to buy Turkey’s Denizbank for $2.77bn

Emirates NBD is Dubai’s largest lender. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 03 April 2019

Emirates NBD reaches new agreement to buy Turkey’s Denizbank for $2.77bn

  • The current offer is lower than the $3.2 billion agreement reached last year
  • The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter, subject to regulatory approval

DUBAI: Dubai’s largest lender Emirates NBD will buy Turkey’s Denizbank from Russia’s state-owned Sberbank for less in dollar terms than previously agreed following the devaluation of the Turkish lira.

Emirates NBD will buy Turkey’s fifth largest private bank for $2.8 billion (15.48 billion lira), the Dubai bank said on Wednesday, compared to the 14.6 billion lira announced in May, after reaching a new agreement with Sberbank.

Although the lira value is higher, the dollar value in May when the deal was announced was put at the equivalent of $3.2 billion, or about $400 million more that the new price.

The lira has tumbled over concerns about the central bank’s independence and Ankara’s worsening ties with Washington.

Dubai-based Arqaam Capital said the new deal represents a 16 percent discount from the original acquisition price due to the lira’s depreciation

Russia’s biggest bank by assets bought Denizbank in 2012 for about $3.5 billion when it wanted to establish a presence abroad. Selling Denizbank, the biggest asset held by Sberbank outside Russia, is part of a shift back to the domestic market.

Denizbank’s equity amounted to 15.51 billion lira as of December 31, Emirates NBD said in a bourse statement.

The deal will help Emirates NBD diversify its business and establish itself as a leading bank in the region, the bank’s vice chairman Hesham Abdulla Al-Qassim said in May.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the second quarter, subject to regulatory approval, Emirates NBD said.


London-based high-tech company tackling online extremism

Updated 10 min 8 sec ago

London-based high-tech company tackling online extremism

  • Moonshot CVE employs 40 people working in 15 languages, including English, French and Arabic, on 76 projects in 28 countries, with clients ranging from governments to technology firms

LONDON: Vidhya Ramalingam believes it’s always possible to change, even for people deeply involved in the murky online world of extremism.

Her company Moonshot CVE has the ambitious aim of trying to get anyone tempted by violence back on the straight and narrow.

Over the last four years, the London-based startup has grown quietly but not anonymously, if a recent partnership deal with Facebook is anything to go by.

US national Ramalingam and the firm’s co-founder Ross Frenett previously worked as researchers into extremism and believe radical groups are often one step ahead when it comes to technology.

“There was a lot of recognition that terrorists were using the internet in creative ways, that they were reaching young audiences, that they were able to innovate,” she told AFP in an interview.

“Yet those of us that were trying to counter them simply were moving too slowly and had too many constraints to actually replicate those methods for counter-terrorism purposes.”

That led to the idea of a technology startup able to keep up with and fight against all forms of violent extremism to nationalists and even “incels.” But greater visibility has forced the company to take more security measures because of the sensitive nature of its work — and the potential for violence from the people it tracks.

The address of Moonshot CVE’s London offices is kept secret and most of its staff have no visible online presence.

Just to get into its premises in a nondescript building in the British capital, visitors have to pass through heavy armor-plated doors and a security check.

“We take precautions,” said Ramalingam. “We work on high-risk issues and we try and put as much into the public domain as possible.”

The startup’s name refers to the act of launching a rocket to the moon — and gives an indication of its stellar ambition. The CVE stands for countering violent extremism.

It employs 40 people working in 15 languages, including English, French and Arabic, on 76 projects in 28 countries, with clients ranging from governments to technology firms.

One project is a collaboration with the Canadian government against the far-right. Another works with the UN on online extremist content in Asia.

The company has also had a partnership for several years with Google, using online advertising to target people looking up violent extremism on the net.

The Facebook contract involves Moonshot analizing how effective the social network could be to “deradicalize” users looking up extremist content.