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Turkey’s Akbank receives US$ 50 million EBRD loan to finance women-led firms

By Olga Rosca

EBRD lends close to 1 billion Turkish lira to Arcelik, a Koc Group firm

  • EBRD and Akbank join forces to narrow funding gap for women-led businesses
  • Funds are part of Women in Business programme backed by the EU and Turkey
  • EBRD support to Akbank also includes signing of new trade finance limit and risk-sharing facility

To boost the ability of Turkey’s banking sector to finance women-led businesses, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a US$ 50 million loan to Akbank, a key Turkish lender.

The funds are part of the EBRD’s newly expanded flagship Women in Business programme, which is providing a total of €600 million to women-led businesses through Turkish banks. The programme is supported by the European Union and Turkey’s Credit Guarantee Fund, as well as the Ministry of Treasury and Finance.

In addition, the EBRD is stepping up its trade finance support for Akbank through a new limit and, under a dedicated Risk Sharing Framework, will also share up to 50 per cent of the risk on individual Akbank loans to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD Managing Director for Turkey, said: “As business activity is normalising after a series of lockdowns triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, we want to ensure that, within the resilient financial system, businesses have access to a more diverse range of financing sources that suit their needs. Together with Akbank, we have developed a broad range of options, including dedicated loans for businesswomen, trade finance and risk sharing.”

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Turkey. To date, it has invested €14 billion in the country through 351 projects, with 95 per cent of those in the private sector. The Bank’s portfolio of €7 billion in Turkey is the largest of the 38 economies in which the EBRD invests.

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