TODAY’S – Report highlights more Halkbank irregularities

Report highlights more Halkbank irregularitiesThere are signs of serious irregularities regarding a loan given by the state-run Halkbank to a company for the acquisition of a media group six years ago, a recent report from the Court of Accounts shows, according to the Turkish media on Tuesday.The Zaman daily reported on Tuesday that the Court of Accounts had produced a report which highlighted suspected irregularities in a transaction in which the Bahrain branch of Halkbank provided a loan worth $375 million to a pro-government company in 2008 for the purchase of a newspaper and a TV station.

The Court of Accounts report said Halkbank agreed to falsify proof of collateral for the loan, even though the company was unable to pay even the principal for the loan to the bank. The company never provided Halkbank with the money for collateral for the loan and the bank had at the time tried to cover up its failure to collect the debt, Zaman wrote on Tuesday.

The name of the company was not disclosed in the Zaman report.According to another report of the Court of Accounts, the company that received the loan from Halkbank in 2008 did not repay the debt but has in fact deferred payment.

The opposition has recently been following the allegations of abuse at Halkbank closely. Republican Peopleand#39s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Umut Oran said last week that if the total assets of a company do not cover all of its debts and liabilities, they are, according to the Turkish commercial code, defined as being in debt.

Since the company is currently in debt according to that law, the loan that Halkbank granted to the company in 2008 is a bad loan, he said.Oran highlighted the fact that while public servants and workers have not been given an increase in their salaries, public money is still being wasted in order to create a pro-government media bloc.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman