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IFC Provides $120 Million to Support Turkey’s Telecommunications Sector

Istanbul, March 10, 2006 — The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, signed a loan agreement for $120 million with Avea, one of Turkey’s major mobile phone operators.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Lars Thunell, IFC’s executive vice president, praised the company for its track record as an innovative operator within the telecommunications and technology sectors:
“IFC has a long-standing relationship with Avea and its shareholders, and has been working with Avea as an advisor and coordinator for the past three years.  The agreement today demonstrates continued confidence in the company as well as overall support of the private sector's role in the telecommunications sector.”
Established in 2000, Avea is one of the leading GSM mobile phone network operators in Turkey.  The company is owned by Telecom Italia, Turk Telekom, and the Is Bankasi Group.  The loan will be used for the integration and expansion of Avea's GSM network.
Mr. Cüneyt Türktan, CEO of Avea, stated that his company will continue to invest in new technologies.  He also added, “This is a very important milestone for Avea, and we see this agreement as paving the way for a long-term relationship with IFC.”
About IFC
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.
IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.
IFC has been active in Turkey for more than forty years with cumulative investments in the country amounting to over $2.7 billion. IFC has a well diversified portfolio across a range of industrial and financial sectors. Over the past five years, IFC has made more health and education investments in Turkey than any other country with overall commitments of $109 million in seven projects.
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