Esteemed Business Partners and Colleagues,
We left 2016 behind as a year in which global economic fluctuations were experienced and major developments had an impact on financial markets.
In 2016, the European and Japanese Central Banks continued to pursue an expansionary monetary policy, sustaining their support of global liquidity. The decision of the British people to secede from the European Union, the presidential elections in the United States, the rise of populist political movements in the countries of the Euro Zone, as well as events in neighboring geographies all affected global risk appetites throughout the year.
The year 2016 was a challenging year for Turkey from every perspective. The attempted coup of July 15 in particular and other schemes directed at disrupting the unity and solidarity of our nation, along with the increasing incidents of terror that plagued our country and the world deeply troubled and distressed us. The key role the people of our country played in thwarting the attempted coup of July 15 has shown all of us the strength of our nation. I would like to take this opportunity to ask for the blessings of God upon all the martyrs who lost their lives during the July 15 attempted coup and terror attacks.
The Turkish economy successfully managed its risks in 2016 despite the challenges it faced. While international credit rating agencies have lowered Turkey’s creditworthiness rating, thanks to the measures taken, a net capital input of USD 6.4 billion was achieved in portfolio investments. Following the steps taken by the USD Federal Reserve’s (FED) to increase interest rates, the USD dollar continued to appreciate against international currencies. As other currencies did, the Turkish Lira also depreciated against the USD dollar, assuming a horizontal pattern in the last part of the year thanks to the support of our public enterprises and the country’s citizens. Turkey and other rising economies and developing countries experienced a year in 2016 in which risks rose significantly but our country continued to motivate us with regard to the management of our investment and growth plans without compromising macro-economic discipline. We at the Çalık Group are determined to continue to create added value for our country, our stakeholders and our business partners by sustaining our successful performance in the next period, fortified by the strength we derive from our country.
In 2016, the Çalık Group renewed its vision and mission in an effort to add momentum to its sustainable growth performance. In line with stakeholder expectations, our new vision has been redefined as, “To work together with our reliable teams in the spirit of innovation-focused entrepreneurship, to add value to each life we touch in our activities and to grow 4 times in 4 continents in our 44th year (2025).” Our mission is now, “To use our talents and energy to produce solutions for human life in all geographies in which we are active in order to contribute to increasing prosperity.”
In the light of our 35-year expertise and experience, the feeling of being part of the “Çalık Family” has become a common identity at all of the Group companies as well as a determinant in the realization of our goals in the period of operations in 2016. Thanks to the wholehearted support of our management and employees, we developed effective solutions in the face of challenging market conditions and continued with our investments at full speed. As of the end of 2016, we realized approximately USD 170 million in investments, succeeding in maintaining our competitive edge in the sectors we focused on.
As Turkey’s largest privately owned bank and operating as part of Çalık Holding, Aktif Bank pursued the goal of achieving a sustainable financial structure, continuing its profitable growth in 2016 as well. Net period profit at the end of the year increased by 37% over the previous year, standing at TRY 111 million (BRSA Standalone Figure).
Having initiated many “firsts” in the banking sector in the past and with its record of serving the Turkish economy, Aktif Bank continued to lead the sector, establishing Turkey’s first Islamic Portfolio Management Company, Mükafat Asset Management, in partnership with ICD. The enterprise aims to introduce different products that will add depth and growth to Turkey’s capital markets and fill a significant gap by diversifying non-interest financial instruments. In the area of Corporate Banking, the bank has taken bold steps to introduce specially developed new financing models as well as systematic integration solutions to the sector. In retail banking, products that support the digital banking model will be collected under the brand “N Kolay.” Two important elements in this family were the launch of “N Kolay Loan” and the “N Kolay Card.” The digital bond product, is expected to be served to customer under the name “N Kolay Bond” in the first quarter of 2017.
As the Çalık Group, we will continue to focus on improvements in the regions and sectors in which we are active in the next period, steered by our belief in continuous innovation. The value we place on human life and dignity in all our business processes will remain an integral part of our corporate culture. As a Group enterprise, Aktif Bank will adhere to the joint responsibility inherent in the Çalık Family’s vision, mission and corporate values. With its motto, “New Generation Banking,” its innovative perspective, its dynamic and young staff of experts, the bank will maintain its strong position in the sector in 2017, continuing to add value to its customers, business partners, the banking sector and most important, to the Turkish economy.