Restructured foreign currency debts to be converted to Turkish lira

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

Restructured foreign currency loans in Turkey will be converted to Turkish lira at the central bank exchange rate in force on the day of restructuring, a presidential decree said yesterday.

The decree on the Amendment to the Resolution of Treasury Support Provided to Credit Guarantee Institutions, published in the Official Gazette, allowed the day's lira rate to be used in companies' restructuring of foreign exchange (forex) loans.

Accordingly, the maturity of enterprise loans was set as a maximum of five years, with a minimum maturity of six months and a principal grace period of not more than one year.

The maturity of the investment loans was determined as maximum 10 years, with a minimum maturity of six months and a principal grace period of maximum three years.

If necessary, a period of one month can be added to the grace period, according to the decree.

The lender will be able to change the maturity of the loan and to restructure the loan more than once with a condition of not exceeding 96 months for business loans and 156 months for investment loans, starting from the opening date of the loan.

In the case of debt restructuring, the grace period will be set at a maximum of 12 months. The restructuring or maturity change will be arranged in a way that will not add additional financial burden to the Treasury and Finance Ministry.

The guarantee limit for each beneficiary will be determined by the Treasury and Finance Minister, with a maximum of TL 25 million ($4.17 million) for beneficiaries defined as a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) , and a maximum of TL 200 million for other beneficiaries.

The Turkish lira has lost over 37 percent in value against the U.S. dollar since the beginning of the year. In an attempt to halt lira's slide, the Turkish central bank announced a 6.25 percentage point rate hike last month.

The lira traded at 6.07 against the U.S. dollar Wednesday, while the same figure stood at 5.97 yesterday.

Earlier this week, the Banks Association of Turkey (TBB) issued a recommendation for businesses whose debt to banks and other financial corporations are calculated below TL 15 million, TL 25 million together with non-cash risks, may restructure their debts up to 24 months with no capital payment during a six month period.

On Sept. 19, Turkish banks and financial institutions signed a loan restructuring framework agreement in order to help businesses having difficulty paying off their debts, the TBB announced.

The agreement was signed by the lenders and other financial institutions, whose shares in total loans are at around 90 percent, the association said adding that other financial institutions were expected to sign the agreement as soon as their internal procedures were completed.

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