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BANKING

Turkey plays to its strengths

Turkey is looking to take advantage of the fact that the country’s banking sector remains relatively well capitalized to achieve its challenging overseas funding requirement in 2009. Memduh Aslan Akcay, director general at the department of the treasury in Ankara, says that this year the country is looking to raise at least $3 billion in the international bond markets. This is likely to be the highest total required by any sovereign in the emerging Europe region. In 2008, Turkey had an indicated overseas funding target of $5.5 billion but the market turmoil caused by the fallout from the global credit crunch and associated economic slowdown meant that it was only able to raise $4 billion. So far this year the sovereign has raised $1 billion through a dollar Eurobond and the US currency along with euro will probably account for the bulk of this year’s issuance. "The US dollar and the euro were the main funding currencies so far and will remain as the core markets for us in the future," says Akcay. "On the other hand, we are ready to tap new currencies if and when we believe the conditions are appropriate for a transaction."