The global financial markets witnessed high fluctuations during 2015. The United States economy continued to recover while growth in emerging markets slowed due to the tightening in financial conditions and some structural dynamics. Economic activity in other developed regions such as the Euro Zone and Japan remained lackluster. Restructuring efforts continued in the Chinese economy, which has been the major driver of the world economic growth including during the 2009 crisis. China’s attempt to shift the axis of economic growth from production and exports to a more services and domestic consumption-based model brought about a controlled economic slowdown and put the brakes on the global economy in the process.
Despite this challenging global outlook, growth in Turkey continued to accelerate with the impetus of private sector consumption and net exports in contrast to the economic developments in many other developing countries. While inflation remained high due to significant loss of value in the Turkish lira, similar to all other emerging market currencies, the current account deficit contracted, fiscal discipline was sustained, and the banking sector maintained its robust structure in 2015. We expect economic activity to be strong in 2016 due to the positive contributions of a healthy banking sector and low commodity prices to macro dynamics.
The capital adequacy ratio of the banking industry remains above the legal threshold and the target level despite a slight decline as a result of tightening financial conditions. Another noticeable development is that the non-performing loan (NPL) ratios did not tick up at all.
Ranked among the leading financial institutions both in Turkey and Europe with a solid capital base, effective risk management and high asset quality, Akbank maintained healthy profitable growth in 2015. Akbank will continue to deliver customer-driven, profitable growth and expand its balance sheet for years to come by acquiring new customers, establishing deep relationships with clients, and ensuring long-term relations with its entire customer base.
Akbank continues to be recognized by the most distinguished members of the world’s financial community as one of Turkey’s leading institutions. Akbank was named “Most Valuable Banking Brand in Turkey” for the fourth consecutive year by Brand Finance’s widely referenced report, “Brand Finance Banking 500.” In addition, Akbank was recognized as the “Best Bank in Turkey” by industryleading publications Euromoney, Global Finance, World Finance, and EMEA Finance, as a result of the Bank’s strong performance in 2015.
We owe all these accomplishments to our goal of creating high and sustainable value for our stakeholders in everything we do. In order to carry out this mission and to create value for Turkey, Akbank has developed the right strategy under all circumstances and market conditions, made appropriate and timely strategic decisions and never let short-term developments detract the Bank from its long-range objectives.
Akbank will continue to pioneer Turkey’s banking and finance industry with its traditions, strong DNA, and highly-qualified human capital that allow us to be optimistic about the future. Akbank is ready to create new opportunities to further raise the industry standards that were set by the Bank in the first place. The Bank will continue to work hard to meet the evolving needs of its customers, help Turkey attain its goals, and realize its dreams. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our employees, partners, and social stakeholders for their contributions in our Bank’s success as well as their confidence in us.