Garanti Sees Aggressive Push for Turkish Project Finance Loans

An abundance of liquidity will spur banks operating in Turkey to aggressively extend loans for long-term infrastructure and hospital projects this year, according to the country’s largest bank by market value.

As much as $9 billion in annual regular installments paid to banks for existing long-term loans in Turkey can be used to re-lend to new projects, Simten Ozturk, the manager of Turkiye Garanti Bankasi’s project and acquisition finance unit, said in an interview in Istanbul on Thursday.

Turkey had about $35 billion of project-finance commitments in 2015, including about $11 billion of refinancing and bridge loans, with the remainder in new projects, according to Garanti’s estimates. It includes about 4.5 billion euros ($5.1 billion) for Istanbul airport loans, Ozturk said. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Finance Corp. are among international institutions willing to lend to infrastructure projects in Turkey, she said.

Garanti will focus on lending to renewable energy projects, including wind and solar, in 2016, and doesn’t plan to participate in large-scale projects such as gas-fired power plants because of volatility in oil prices and increased capacity, Ozturk said.

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