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Akbank Said to Offer Turkey’s First Lira Bonds Abroad

Akbank TAS, the Turkish lender part-owned by Citigroup Inc., is selling the country’s first lira-denominated bonds to foreign investors, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

The lender is offering five-year debt to investors abroad at a yield about 7.60 percent, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public yet. Akbank hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank AG, Citigroup, HSBC Holdings Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. for the sale, the person said.

The benchmark-sized bonds will be sold tomorrow after the end of a roadshow today, according to the person. Akbank applied to Turkey’s market regulators in December for a sale of as much as $1 billion of notes in dollars, foreign currency or liras.

The sale announcement comes as Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci’s variable interest rates policy has succeeded in making the Turkish lira the least volatile among eight major currencies in emerging Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s boosted appetite for lira debt and helped Turkey win its first investment-grade rating in 18 years when Fitch Ratings upgraded the country in November.

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