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A one-year US$500mn syndicated term loan agreement for Vakifbank (Türkiye Vakiflar Bankasi) has been signed by a syndicate of 56 blue-chip regional and international banks.

The signing ceremony was the first for a Turkish bank to be conducted outside Europe – in Dubai.

Signing on behalf of Vakifbank, Ahmet Kacar said: “Planned as a US$350mn loan for 23 banks, the transaction was oversubscribed and closed at US$500mn with 56 banks participating. With so many of the banks involved coming from the Gulf region we felt it only appropriate that the signing ceremony should be held here too. Besides we believe that Dubai is a growing international market place which links the financial centres of Europe and the Far East. This is a milestone occasion for the Turkish banking industry and reflects the increasing cooperation between the Turkish, Middle Eastern and global financial communities.” 

Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, CEO of Mashreqbank, one of the lead arrangers of the loan and based in the UAE, added: “Dubai’s status has grown from being a regional to a truly global international financial centre and we welcome our Turkish friends here today. The enthusiastic support received from many of the world’s most respected banks for this syndicated loan has been very gratifying and reflects on Vakifbank’s reputation as one of the strongest banks in Turkey.”

Mandated arrangers on this transaction are: ABN Amro, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Alpha Bank, American Express Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Burgan Bank, Citibank (bookrunner), Demir-Halk Bank (Nederland), Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, GarantiBank International, Gulf Bank, HVB Group, ING, JPMorgan plc, Mashreqbank, Natexis Banques Populaires, RZB, Standard Bank London (bookrunner, documentation, coordination), Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe (facility agent), Wachovia Bank and WestLB AG, London (bookrunner, info memo).

Subsequently both Deutsche Bank and UFJ joined the mandated arranger group.

The loan was raised to prefinance Turkish export contracts and has a margin of 60bp per year.