Washington, D.C., June 30, 2004—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide an $18 million
loan to Ege Liman Isletmeleri A.S. (Ege Ports), which holds a 30-year concession
to operate the Kusadasi cruise ship port on Turkey’s Aegean coast. Kusadasi
is Turkey’s largest cruise port by passenger volume and a gateway to important
historical sites, including the ancient
cities of Ephesus and Priene.
IFC's financial package for Ege Ports consists of a $10 million loan for
IFC's own account and an $8 million syndicated loan for the account of
Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO),
the Dutch development bank.
Ege Ports (www.egeports.com)
will use the proceeds of the IFC loan to finance its obligations under
the concession agreement, construct a new passenger terminal facility,
and improve the existing piers. The capital expenditure program is
expected to enhance the port’s efficiency significantly.
In 2003, the port handled more than 313,000 cruise ship passengers and
over 1,030 vessels, a 31 percent increase over the previous year. In
the first five months of 2004, passenger figures reached 56,000 and exceeded
those of the same period in 2003 by 38 percent.
Francisco Tourreilles, director of IFC’s Infrastructure Department, said,
“The new facilities and improvements will help transform the port into
a world-class cruise ship destination. The additional tourist traffic
generated by the port will be a key driver of economic activity and increased
employment opportunities in this historic area.”
Khosrow Zamani, IFC’s director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, added,
“IFC’s financing supports Turkey’s efforts to increase private sector
participation in infrastructure services. The loan will add momentum
to the tourism sector, which is of strategic importance for the country.”
Gregory Kiez, the chairman of Ege Ports, noted, “We are delighted to be
working with IFC on this project. We look forward to our continued
partnership with IFC and the World Bank Group on tourism initiatives in
Turkey.” Mr. Kiez added that Ege Ports has demonstrated its commitment
to excellence by making Kusadasi the first port in Turkey compliant with
the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code of the International
IFC's mission (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than
$37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for
2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed
portfolio as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion
held for participants in loan syndications.