BNP Paribas and Colakoglu Group have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding the merger of Turk Ekonomi Bankasi (TEB) and Fortis Bank.

Under the MoU, which is subject to regulatory authorities’ approval, it has been agreed that the two banks will be merged under TEB.

Upon approval from the regulatory authorities, and after share transfers between the main shareholders following the merger, it is expected that TEB Mali Yatyrymlar (TEB Mali) shall remain the majority shareholder in the merged bank and that the Colakoglu Group and the BNP Paribas Group will each continue to hold 50% of TEB Mali.

Based on current figures, the newly merged entity is expected to be the ninth largest bank in Turkey by total assets, with 630 branches, 10,500 employees, three million individual clients and 500,000 small business or corporate clients.

According to BNP Paribas, the new entity will be focused on serving the projects of Turkish individuals and the development of Turkish companies on their home market and all over the world.

The merger is expected to be concluded by the beginning of 2011.