Turkey's Akbank Is Said Set to Sign Syndicated Loan Thursday

(Bloomberg) -- Akbank TAS, Turkey’s second-biggest lender by market value, is set to sign a syndicated loan on Thursday, people with the knowledge of the matter said, its first borrowing since a plunge in the lira. The bank’s shares rose.

The dual-currency loan will extend a facility agreed upon in 2017, when Akbank borrowed the equivalent of $945 million for one year and a further $205 million for two years. The size of the new facility hasn’t been finalized, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private.

Akbank has already had to offer a much higher premium than it paid last year to get the deal extended. It also raised the interest margins of the loans by as much as 75 basis points compared with the pricing offered two months ago, when it first invited lenders to join, people familiar with the matter said this month. It also more than doubled upfront fees, they said.

Akbank declined to comment. Its shares advanced 6.6 percent in Istanbul trading.

The deal will shed light on Turkish banks’ ability to borrow as they race to refinance $6 billion of debt by the end of the year. It may also determine their ability to tap international debt markets amid U.S. sanctions that have contributed to the lira’s plunge against the dollar and stifled the country’s economy.

“Akbank completing the syndicated loan deal under current conditions is quite positive,” said Sertan Kargin, director of research at Global Securities in Istanbul. The deal creates a positive sentiment for the stock and it can be seen as a catalyst at this stage, he said.

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