Riverwoods, IL, and Istanbul, Turkey, May 20, 2015-- Diners Club International® Ltd., a business unit of Discover Financial Services and part of the Discover Global Network, and Alternatifbank (ABank), a subsidiary bank of The Commercial Bank of Qatar Q.S.C. (Commercial Bank), the exclusive provider of Diners Club cards in Qatar, today announced an agreement to form a new Diners Club International issuing franchise in Turkey.
The agreement makes ABank the exclusive Diners Club card issuing franchise in Turkey. The joint venture will offer cardmembers in Turkey a compelling new credit card choice that features a host of privileged offers and benefits, including access to more than 550 Diners Club airport lounges globally.
"Turkey is one of the major card markets in the EMEA region and an increasingly important one for our cardmembers," said Eduardo Tobon, president of Diners Club International. "Working with ABank - the Turkish subsidiary of Commercial Bank - will allow Diners Club to grow its presence in Turkey within the business traveler space, as well as meet the needs of a well-established customer base and offer better support to multinational customers."
A globally-recognized product, the Diners Club card is accepted in more than 185 countries and territories, in millions of merchant locations, and at more than 1 million ATMs and cash access locations.
"ABank is delighted to become the exclusive issuing bank in Turkey for Diners Club credit cards under this agreement," said Meric Ulusahin, CEO, ABank. "Diners Club provides the strongest card products in the world, and our Turkish customers are set to benefit greatly from their availability. We are confident that we will have the same success in Turkey with this affluent segment product as Commercial Bank has in Qatar."
ABOUT ALTERNATIFBANK (ABANK)
ABank was established in 1991 and has been listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange since 1995. Commercial Bank became the majority shareholder in ABank in 2013 holding a 74.24% stake, following the acquisition of ABank shares of 70.84% from the Anadolu Group and 3.40% through a public tender offer. Anadolu Group remains a significant shareholder retaining 25% of shares in ABank.
ABank is a mid-size Turkish bank that predominately serves medium-sized companies through a country-wide network of 64 branches covering 85% of Turkey's economic regions. ABank provides commercial/corporate banking services along with Retail Banking, targeting the "mass affluent segment" in terms of customer profile with tailor made products.
ABOUT COMMERCIAL BANK
Commercial Bank has total assets of QAR 115.7 billion as at 31 December 2014. As a full service commercial bank, the Bank offers a full range of corporate, retail and investment banking services as well as owning and operating exclusive Diners Club franchises in Qatar and Oman. The Bank's countrywide network includes 29 full service branches and 152 ATMs.
Profitable every year since incorporation in 1974, continual investment in technology and human capital, together with a strong capital base, provides a solid foundation for continued growth. A successful diversification strategy has expanded Commercial Bank's GCC footprint through strategic partnerships with associated banks, the National Bank of Oman (NBO) in Oman and United Arab Bank (UAB) in the UAE. NBO, the second largest bank in Oman with total assets of OMR 3 billion as at 31 December 2014, has 61 conventional branches and 4 Islamic branches in Oman and 1 branch each in Egypt, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. UAB is headquartered in Sharjah, with total assets of AED 25.7billion as at 31 December 2014, and operates 31 branches across the emirates in the UAE. Building on the successful execution of the Bank's expansion strategy to date, Commercial Bank completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Alternatifbank in Turkey in July 2013.
Commercial Bank enjoys strong credit ratings of (A) from Fitch, (A1) from Moody's and (A-) from Standard & Poor's. The Bank is listed on the Qatar Exchange and was the first Qatari bank to list its Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) as well as bonds on the London Stock Exchange. Commercial Bank's Swiss Franc bond issuance in December 2010, listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, was the first public bond issuance by a Qatari bank in Switzerland. Commercial Bank's latest bond issuance in June 2014 is listed on the Irish stock exchange.
The Bank is dedicated to supporting Qatar's community and social infrastructure through Corporate Social Responsibility programmes and sponsorship of various events. Title sponsorship of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and the Grand Prix of Qatar Moto GP reflects the Bank's promotion of excellence in sports and its keen interest in enhancing Qatar's international sporting reputation. To reinforce Qatar's flourishing cultural environment, Commercial Bank is the strategic partner of the Katara Cultural Village. This collaboration symbolises the Bank's commitment to supporting cultural activities in Qatar and making the country a regional arts and cultural hub.www.cbq.qa
ABOUT DINERS CLUB INTERNATIONAL
Diners Club International is owned by Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS), a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Established in 1950, Diners Club International became the first multi-purpose charge card in the world, launching a financial revolution in how consumers and companies pay for products and services. Today, Diners Club is a globally-recognized brand serving the payment needs of select and affluent consumers, offering access to more than 550 airport lounges worldwide, and providing corporations and small business owners with a complete array of expense management solutions. With acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories, millions of merchant locations and access to more than 1 million cash access locations and ATMs, Diners Club, as a strategic partner of the Discover Global Network, is uniquely qualified to serve its cardmembers all over the world. For more information, visit www.dinersclub.com.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers home loans, private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its direct banking business. It operates the Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories.For more information, visit www.discover.com/company.