The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €60 million loan to Turkish Odeabank for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Turkey.
SMEs constitute a vital part of Turkey’s economy and account for 80 per cent of the country’s employment and 60 per cent of its exports. Supporting local small businesses with better access to finance is a priority for the EBRD.
Natalia Khanjenkova, Managing Director for Turkey and Central Asia at the EBRD, said: “Odeabank is our newest partner bank in Turkey through which we will be supporting local SMEs. We believe that this first loan will pave the way for a close cooperation in the years to come, including in areas of strategic importance to the EBRD such as energy efficiency and women-run enterprises.”
A very young bank, Odeabank started its operations in 2012 as a subsidiary of the largest Lebanese bank Audi. In only two and a half years it has rapidly grown to become Turkey’s 10th largest private deposit bank in terms of asset size in a sector made up of almost 50 lenders, according to EBRD.
Small and medium-sized enterprises account for 13 per cent of Odeabank loan portfolio and with the EBRD’s support the lender is keen to develop this segment.
Hüseyin Özkaya, Odeabank General Manager, added: “Micro, small and medium enterprises are the backbone of our economy. Our cooperation with EBRD allows Odeabank to further support SMEs which are vital for helping Turkey create jobs, increase productivity of its economy and bring prosperity to its people”.
The EBRD has a strong track record of providing finance to Turkish banks for on-lending to local SMEs. To date, the Bank has provided finance worth €1.6 billion to lenders in Turkey.
The EBRD started investing in Turkey in 2009 and currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep.
In just six years the Bank has invested over €5.5 billion in Turkey through more than 150 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. It has also mobilised over €12 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.
In 2014 Turkey became the leading recipient country of the EBRD, with new investments worth €1.4 billion.