Turkey’s wealth fund hires banks for first foreign loan

Turkey’s wealth fund hires banks for first foreign loan

ISTANBUL
Turkey’s wealth fund hires banks for first foreign loan

Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund (Varlık Fonu) hired Citigroup Inc. and Industrial Commercial Bank of China Ltd. to coordinate a 1 billion-euro ($1.14 billion) syndicated loan, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.

The facility will have a two-year maturity with an option to extend for another year so that Varlık Fonu can inject cash into the companies it holds, one of the people said.

The deal marks the first time the fund borrows internationally.

The fund, established in 2016, holds the total or part of shares of several Turkish companies such as flag carrier Turkish Airlines, telecommunications giant Türk Telekom, state-owned lenders Ziraat and Halk, Turkish Petroleum and Borsa Istanbul.

Its portfolio also includes the petroleum pipeline company BOTAŞ, the postal services company PTT, and the national lottery Milli Piyango.

The chairman of the fund’s board is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The board also includes Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak.

Albayrak on Feb. 6 said the fund had taken “big steps to enlarge its balance sheet and transparency.”

According to the fund’s website, its mission is to develop and increase the value of the country’s strategic assets and consequently provide resource for our country’s primary investments.

Its main objectives are contributing to economic growth by ensuring value increase of key public assets, supporting the development of assets suitable for participation financing, actively deepening capital markets by supporting the introduction of a variety of products, attracting further investments to Turkey and providing capital for new investments.

Wealth Fund, Turkish economy, foreign debt