* Turkish banks among world’s most highly capitalised
* Loan growth at an annual 35 pct in fast-growing Turkey
(Releads with Rabobank comment)
ISTANBUL, March 11 (Reuters) – Dutch lender Rabobank NV [RABN.UL] said on Friday it was interested in Turkey but had not applied for a banking licence, after Turkish newspapers reported it was in talks with the country’s banking watchdog (BDDK).
A Rabobank official in the Netherlands said the bank had expressed interest in Turkey before.
Both Milliyet and Hurriyet dailies had reported that the bank wants to enter the market this year and open retail branches.
Turkey, with a young, increasingly wealthy population of 74 million, is one of the emerging world’s most attractive and most highly capitalised banking sectors.
Before the global financial crisis struck, foreign banks, including Rabobank’s Dutch peers Fortis and ING rushed to buy into Turkey.
Last year Spain’s BBVA (BBVA.MC) paid $5.8 billion for a 24.9 percent stake in Turkey’s Garanti Bank (GARAN.IS), giving it joint control. (Reporting by Seda Sezer in Istanbul and Amsterdam bureau; Editing by Will Waterman)