The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a loan of €25 million to QNB Finans Finansal Kiralama A.S., a leasing subsidiary of the Turkish lender, QNB Finansbank, to broaden access to finance for the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The EBRD loan is extended under the third phase of the Turkey Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (TurSEFF III), which provides financing of €400 million to commercial banks and leasing companies for on-lending to private sector SMEs as well as public sector beneficiaries for sustainable energy investments.
Sub-leases under the credit line will contribute towards building a green economy by facilitating the expansion of resource efficiency and renewable energy lending in Turkey. Examples of possible investments include energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste minimisation and small-scale renewable energy investments.
Jürgen Rigterink, EBRD first vice president on a visit to Turkey said: “Our financing provided to QNB Finans Leasing will encourage Turkish companies to install resource-efficient equipment and generate significant benefits in terms of cost savings, avoided energy and capacity costs, as well as reduced emissions. Leasing is a particularly efficient means by which to address the financial needs of local enterprises and is an excellent way to finance capital investments such as high tech equipment offering an attractive alternative to outright purchase.”
Metin Karabiber, general manager of QNB Finans Leasing, added: “It is the first time that we are working with the EBRD. This significant partnership will enable us to finance renewable energy investments of our SME clients. The financing will help expand resource efficiency in Turkey, while our customers will benefit from long-term funding and reduced costs.”
The loan will also strengthen the financial sector in the country and contribute to the wider proliferation of leasing. Although often a viable alternative to debt financing, the market penetration of leasing in comparison to GDP is one of the lowest in comparable economies.
The EBRD is a major investor in Turkey. Since 2009 it has invested €10 billion in various sectors of the Turkish economy, with almost all investment made in the private sector. In 2017 alone, the EBRD invested €1.6 billion in 51 projects in the country. Nearly a third of this financing was provided in Turkish lira.