ANKARA Feb 21 Turkey's central bank is
finalising plans to allow companies to repay some loans from the
state-owned development bank in roubles, a person familiar with
central bank policy said, a move that would help exporters and
tourism firms targeting Russia.
Trade between Turkey and Russia reached $33.3 billion in
2012 but tumbled to below $17 billion in 2016 after ties were
strained when Ankara shot down a Russian jet over Syria.
Relations have been restored and Turkish companies are keen to
Turkey is a major exporter of machinery, cars and
manufactured goods into Europe and supports its exporters
through state-owned Eximbank, which offers companies "rediscount
credits" - a loan that enables them to sell goods on deferred
Rediscount credits are usually made in lira and repaid in
foreign currency. Turkey's central bank is working on allowing
companies to use roubles to repay Eximbank, the source said,
declining to be identified because he was not authorised to
speak on the record.
"The (central bank's) work on this is continuing and the
process is nearing completion. This practice may be implemented
in the near term," the person said.
He said work was also continuing with the Russian central
bank on a swap agreement, but implementation of this may take
longer than the rediscount credits.
The central bank last July raised the limit on rediscount
credits available to exporters to $20 billion, of which $17
billion is allocated to Eximbank and $3 billion to commercial
Earlier this month the central bank said it would allow
repayment to be made in lira, a step seen cutting corporate
demand for foreign exchange by $4 billion.
The government has been encouraging companies to do more
business in lira, to shore up the currency after double-digit
declines in 2015 and 2016 and a hammering earlier this year.
(Reporting by Nevzat Devranoglu; Writing by Daren Butler;
Editing by David Dolan and Richard Lough)