May 17 2018

Turkish firms' foreign borrowing climbs to $226.8 billion

Turkish firms’ long-term foreign borrowing increased by $5.5 billion in the first quarter, the central bank said on its website on Friday.

The loans rose to $226.8 billion, the bank in Ankara said.

The foreign borrowing has raised concern among investors and ratings agencies for financial stability in Turkey amid a sell-off in the lira. The currency slid to a record low of 4.5 per dollar on Wednesday, taking losses for the year to more than 15 percent and making the foreign debts of Turkish firms more expensive to repay.

Short-term loans, excluding trade credits, rose by $401 million to $18.6 billion, the central bank said.

Fifty-nine percent of the loans were in dollars and 35 percent in euros. Fifty-one percent of the borrowing was by financial institutions and 49 percent by non-financial firms.

Principal repayments will total $69.1 billion over the 12 months to end-March 2019, the bank said.

The government has imposed restrictions on the borrowing for firms who do not earn revenue in foreign currency.