Five Turkish power plants may be transferred to new fund - Garanti Bank executive

Four or five Turkish power plants will be transferred to Energy Enterprise Guarantee Fund, designed to support energy companies that are struggling to stay in business, a Garanti Bank executive said on Thursday.

Turkish Finance and Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak announced in April plans to establish the new fund to support a sector that requires restructuring of debt worth $12-13 billion, according to Ebru Edin, deputy managing director of Garanti. Albayrak said the fund would be set up and managed by a portfolio management company, which will securitise the debt transferred from banks.

Between $1.5 billion and $2 billion of bad debt is owed by the power plants that are expected to be transferred to the fund, which five Turkish banks are also expected to join, Edin said in an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency.

Different portfolio management companies will be established for each project that will be transferred to the fund, she said.

“The reason for establishing separate portfolio management companies is to simplify both evaluation and negotiation processes”, Edin said, adding that if all the companies involved were brought together in a pool it could create serious conflicts of interest.

No resources will be transferred by the government to the fund, according to Edin, while the public institutions will support the initiative by making relevant changes to regulations.

Edin said that she did not believe the problems in the sector would be permanent. “Therefore we are not considering immediately selling the companies that will be transferred to the fund. There will be at least three years before the companies are sold,” she said.