The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided a $175 million loan to Turkish private lender DenizBank, the bank said on Thursday.

DenizBank will use the financial package to scale up its trade finance activities and lend to smaller municipalities and agricultural firms amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“As a major investor in Turkey, the EBRD’s goal is to ensure resilience of the financial sector and the economy as a whole in these challenging times,” said Arvid Tuerkner, the EBRD managing director for Turkey.

Touching on a recently launched loan initiative for small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs (SMEs) called Breath Credit in collaboration with the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), DenizBank CEO Hakan Ates said:

“In the hard times of the coronavirus pandemic, we continue to stand by farmers, SMEs, municipalities and our customers engaged in foreign trade, as we always do.”

Of the new funds, $100 million will be dedicated to support DenizBank’s financial instruments and products that facilitate international trade and finance.

The remaining $75 million will help the lender increase the availability of short-term financing for municipal clients and agribusinesses that have come under stress in the ongoing crisis.

The EBRD said it stands ready to provide support worth €21 billion ($23 billion) in 38 emerging markets deal with the economic impact of the pandemic over the 2020-21 period.

As a major investor in Turkey, the European bank has invested almost €12 billion ($13 billion) in various sectors since 2009.

The EBRD’s €6.7 billion ($7.5 billion) Turkey portfolio is the largest among the 38 economies where the bank invests.

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