EBRD channels more resources to support trade finance in Cyprus through Turkish Bank Ltd.

By Axel  Reiserer

EBRD channels more resources to support trade finance in Cyprus through Turkish Bank Ltd.

€5 million finance line to facilitate foreign trade

Strengthening the integration of the Cypriot economy, the EBRD is stepping up its support to exporters and importers with a €5 million trade facility to Turkish Bank Ltd. under the Bank’s Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP). Turkish Bank Ltd. will become the fourth issuing bank under the Programme in Cyprus.

Through the facility the EBRD will issue guarantees in favour of international commercial banks covering the political and commercial payment risk of the transactions undertaken by Turkish Bank Ltd. In addition, Turkish Bank Ltd. will benefit from the EBRD’s award-winning technical cooperation projects in trade finance.

Lucyna Stańczak-Wuczyńska, EBRD Director, Financial Institutions, said: “This is a very important step to widen and deepen our engagement in Cyprus. The TFP facility will enable Turkish Bank Ltd. to provide better trade finance services to exporters, distributors of imported goods and importers among the Turkish Cypriot community. Through the TFP line, Turkish Bank Ltd. will have the opportunity to boost intra-regional trade and will contribute to the development of trade links between Cyprus and other countries where the EBRD invests. Promoting trade is an important way of strengthening the local economy by creating opportunities for growth and job creation.”

Hakan Bortecene, Chairman of Turkish Bank Ltd., added: “It has been a pleasure and an honour to cooperate with the EBRD. The Trade Facilitation Programme is an excellent tool that will help increase our foreign trade and economic growth. We are proud of the confidence shown in us and we look forward to deepening our relation with the EBRD to benefit from our partner’s extensive know-how and experience.”

Turkish Bank Ltd. is a private bank founded in 1901. It provides banking services to the Turkish Cypriot community, with the main focus on the commercial and corporate sectors, and has a well-established network of 20 branches in Cyprus.

The TFP, launched in 1999, aims to promote foreign trade to, from and among the countries in which the EBRD invests. Through the Programme, the EBRD provides guarantees to international confirming banks and short-term loans to selected banks and factoring companies for on-lending to local exporters, importers and distributors.

The EBRD’s TFP currently includes 96 partner banks in 26 countries where the EBRD invests, with limits exceeding €1.5 billion in total and more than 800 confirming banks worldwide.

TFP operations started in Cyprus in summer 2015 with the establishment of limits for Eurobank, Hellenic Bank and Bank of Cyprus, totaling €90 million. So far, the TFP has supported a large range of international and intra-regional trade transactions, among them the export of construction services, the import of industrial equipment and electrical devices as well as the import of capital goods, construction equipment, vehicles, household products, food and electrical goods.

Through its TFP, the EBRD not only stimulates regional business, but also provides a unique knowledge-sharing platform for market professionals. To date, over 100 Cypriot bankers have received scholarships to participate in the EBRD’s Trade Finance e-Learning programme. The graduates from Cyprus were among the top 25 individuals who completed the online Trade Finance e-Learning training in 2016.