There has been a spate of large trade transactions in Turkey over Q1 of 2013.

The largest is the US$1.74bn refinancing deal Turkish bank Akbank secured in March, which is to be used for trade purposes. The mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) were Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML), Citi, HSBC, ING, JP Morgan, Mizuho, Natixis, RBS, Société Générale, Standard Chartered, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), UniCredit, Wells Fargo, Bank of Nova Scotia and Commerzbank.

Earlier in April Vakif Bank secured a two-tranche refinancing package from a syndicate of 38 international banks. GTR can reveal that the first tranche is for €555.20mn and is priced at Euribor plus 1%. The second tranche is for US$251.50mn and is priced at Libor plus 1%.

Our source within Vakif confirms that BofAML acted as the co-ordinating bank, while SMBC was facility agent. The other MLAs on the transaction were: Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Erste Group, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Standard Chartered, UniCredit and Wells Fargo.

Also signed in March was the Ziraat Bankasi transaction: a US$702mn deal which is also to be used for tradeflows. This deal is remarkable in being the first time the bank tapped the international loan market for 20 years.

The MLAs on this deal were BofAML, Commerzbank, Scotiabank, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Mizuho, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Standard Chartered and Wells Fargo.

BofAML acted as co-ordinator on each of the three deals. Speaking of the Akbank transaction, BofAML’s managing director for debt capital markets loan origination David Pepper, tells GTR: “It’s one of the many refinancing deals that all the Turkish banks undertake year after year. Most of them come to the market twice a year for these one-year trade facilities. This is a refinancing of a deal they put in place in Q1 of 2012.

“If you look at any of the Turkish bank deals, they always have a broad number of banks involved. All the major Turkish banks will have a number of banks involved in the transaction. They’ll look to leverage their relationship banks into the transactions as well.”