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Banking

Best sovereign borrower – Emerging Europe: Republic of Turkey

Pre-funding has allowed treasury officials to focus on strategic deals.

The world’s best borrowers in 2006

Like all good sprinters, the highly regarded team at the Turkish treasury like to get off the starting blocks ahead of their rivals. As Turkey wins the best sovereign borrower in emerging Europe category for the second year running, director general in charge of funding strategies Memduh Ackay acknowledges that the policy of leading the market with large first-quarter benchmark issuances has been crucial to success.

“We have already raised 45% of our annual borrowing target of $5.5 billion, via one dollar deal [the January-issued 2036s] and one euro-denominated deal [the 2016s, issued in February],” he says. “This means we can look forward to executing more strategic transactions throughout 2006.”

Return to Asia?

With established yield curves in the dollar and euro markets – the former extends to 2036 – there is some speculation that Turkey could return to the Asian market, particularly since its last outstanding yen bonds matured this year. One debt capital markets banker points out that Turkey has met with investors in Asia in the last three months, but Ackay remains ambivalent for now.

“The yen market was very favourable to us,” he says, “before Japanese investors became too concerned about the investment grade rating phenomenon – partly on the back of losses realized during the Argentine crisis.

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