International Finance Corporation supports SMEs in Turkey

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The FINANCIAL — IFC is supporting the financing needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Turkey by partnering with Alternatif Bank to extend new trade-related or working capital loans to SMEs whose cashflows have been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SMEs in Turkey are an underserved segment of the market and face difficulties to access financing. A new $25 million loan to Alternatif Bank will help SMEs to continue to operate and sustain their current employment levels. In parallel, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a similar-sized loan.

Alternatif Bank’s CEO Kaan Gür said: “With this transaction, we are proud to be a part of IFC and EBRD’s COVID-19 Solidarity Package. We will channel $50 million loans we have secured as part of this package to the SMEs impacted by the pandemic and make a greater contribution to private sector trade.”

This investment builds on IFC’s long-standing relationship with Alternatif Bank. Since 1998, IFC has provided various types of financing to the bank to support its expansion into the SME sector with a particular focus on women entrepreneurs, energy efficiency, renewable energy and trade finance.

“Our loan to Alternatif Bank is a part of our ongoing efforts to address the working capital needs of SMEs in Turkey,” said Vittorio Di Bello, IFC’s Regional Head of Industry for Financial Institutions in Europe and Central Asia. “Our facility will help alleviate the pressure on short term cash requirements of SMEs and support them to sustain their current employment levels”.

The loan to Alternatif Bank is being funded through IFC’s Working Capital Solutions (WCS) program, which represents $2 billion of IFC’s $8 billion in fast-track financing. The WCS program is designed to provide funding to emerging-market banks to extend credit to help businesses shore up their working capital, the pool of funds that firms use to pay their bills and preserve jobs.

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IFC has supported private sector development in Turkey for over 50 years, with a committed exposure of over $4 billion in the country as of June 2020.

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