Aktif Bank Enters into a Regional Cooperation with ITFC in Order to Finance Trade. November 2009

Strategic cooperation agreement was executed with the participation of Dr. Waleed Al-Wohaib, CEO of ITFC

Strategic cooperation agreement was executed with the participation of Dr. Waleed Al-Wohaib, CEO of ITFC; Hani Salem Sonbol, Deputy CEO of ITFC and Dr. Önder Halisdemir, CEO of Aktif Bank.  With this agreement, Aktif Bank aims widespread and effective use of foreign trade and structured finance products and services in Turkey and the neighbouring countries to improve trade which are offered in 56 member countries.    

With the agreement signed between Aktif Bank and ITFC, Aktif Bank will promote products and services of ITFC to companies operating in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Albania. Within the scope of this cooperation, Aktif Bank will play a crucial role to improve trade through a wide range of high quality services including marketing and research, operations, credits, treasury, consultancy and other banking services.  

At the signing ceremony, Dr. Waleed Al-Wohaib, CEO of ITFC, said “It is indeed a great pleasure to sign this cooperation agreement with Aktif Bank, whom we see as a very strong and dynamic partner.”  Dr. Al-Wohaib added “With the signing of this agreement ITFC realized another very important objective which is to expand our intra-trade finance relationship amongst our member countries, which will help support and fill local trade finance market gaps in countries with little access to international markets.” Dr. Walled Al-Wohaib stated that since 1977 ITFC has provided in excess of US$ 32 billion trade finance funding.  Dr. Al-Wohaib added that with its more than 30 year heritage of success and integrity in Islamic trade finance, ITFC is uniquely positioned in partnership with Aktif Bank to offer financing solutions that respond to the challenges of the global financial crisis in Turkey and the Region.

Aktif Bank’s CEO Dr. Önder Halisdemir stated “Through this partnership with ITFC, a well-established, strong and innovative corporation in international trade, Aktif Bank will contribute to the improvement of trade in Turkey and the Region”. He added that companies will have access to alternative structured finance instruments as well as traditional trade finance products with maturities exceeding 12 months with favourable terms. Dr. Halisdemir emphasised the importance of ITFC’s structured finance instruments by saying “In addition to the traditional finance products which are based on the flow of funds, we will offer ‘structured finance’ products which are based on the flow of goods”. Furthermore, Dr. Önder Halisdemir stated that “As the fastest growing bank in Turkey in 2008 with existing operations in three countries, it is our pleasure to be introducing new countries and services by developing common trade programs in partnership with one of world’s most prominent corporations, ITFC, for our country, the Region and our institution”.

About International Islamic Trade and Finance Corporation:   

The ITFC is an autonomous entity within the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, formed to merge the trade finance business that was formerly undertaken by various windows within the IDB Group. The consolidation of the bank’s trade finance activities under a single umbrella increases the efficiency of service delivery by enabling rapid response to customer needs in a market-driven business environment.

A rich heritage that spans more than 30 years in trade finance by the IDB Group puts the ITFC in a leadership position to foster socio-economic development through trade, set new benchmarks for trade financing, enhancing trade, ethical based business standards, and developing innovative Shariah compliant trade financing instruments. Operating to world-class standards the ITFC promotes IDB developmental objectives through its two main pillars, Trade Finance and Trade Promotion, to fulfil its brand promise of 'Advancing Trade & Improving Lives'.