Sudan central bank signs $2 bln loan with Turkish firm

Sudan central bank signs $2 bln loan with Turkish firm

Sudan central bank signs $2 bln loan with Turkish firm

Sudan's central bank has said it agreed a $2 billion loan from a Turkish company to provide banking facilities and to import petroleum products and wheat.

The African nation's economy has deteriorated in recent months after Khartoum devalued the pound currency and slashed its wheat price subsidies, leading to riots across the country in January.

The central bank announced the agreement in a statement late on March 8 but did not name the Turkish company involved.

Sudan's state news agency SUNA named the company as Öztürk. It said the deal would "facilitate imports,” without providing further details.

Khartoum devalued the Sudanese currency to 18 pounds per dollar in January from 6.7, but black market rates soared as high as 40 pounds last month.

The government has ruled out letting market forces determine the pound's official exchange rate, as proposed by the International Monetary Fund.

Sudan's economy has been struggling since the south of the country seceded in 2011, taking with it three quarters of its oil output. The United States lifted 20-year-old sanctions against Khartoum in October, renewing hope that Sudan could draw foreign investment again and get its economy on track.

The central bank said in its statement on March 8 that the loan was part of expanding economic and trade cooperation with Turkey.

Turkish firm,