The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) made a record investment in Turkey of €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) in 2015, the bank said on Wednesday.
That was up from €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) in 2014, a statement read.
Turkish projects represented 20 percent of the EBRD’s total €9.4 billion investment last year across some three dozen countries.
“The EBRD delivered a remarkable performance in Turkey despite the challenging environment, responding to an ever-growing demand for finance, especially outside large metropolitan areas,” said Jean-Patrick Marquet, Istanbul-based EBRD country director for Turkey, who took up the post in March 2015.
The EBRD financed 43 projects across a number of sectors, including the construction of the country’s biggest geothermal power plant, for which the EBRD provided a $200 million loan, its largest financing in Turkey to date.
It was particularly successful in attracting additional funding for its projects from commercial banks. In Turkey it more than doubled external loan co-financing to over €700 million ($756.9 million).
The EBRD has in particular focused on deepening Turkey’s capital markets. It became a shareholder in 12 companies, including Borsa Istanbul, with a view to preparing it for a successful stock market listing. The bank’s equity investment in Turkey rose to a record €450 million last year, the statement said.
It also joined forces with the Capital Markets Board to promote enhanced corporate governance of companies listed on Borsa Istanbul and invested in Turkish lira-denominated bonds issued by local corporates and financial institutions, the statement noted.
“The need to boost the economy of south-eastern Turkey grew ever more urgent as the refugee crisis put a serious strain on the region. The EBRD and partners are currently looking into ways to provide affordable financing to towns that are overwhelmed by the huge influx of refugees.
“The EBRD aims to channel more investments into infrastructure and utilities such as water, waste and public transport, and invest in businesses that will create employment and boost the local economy for the benefit of all,” the statement said.
Operating from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep the EBRD started investing in Turkey in 2009. To date, it has invested over €7 billion ($7.6 billion) in the country through 180 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance, the bank said.