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IFC Invests $18 million in Kusadasi Cruise Port in Turkey


In Washington D.C.:
Georg Schmidt

Tel: + (202) 458 2934
Email:
Gschmidt@ifc.org


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 Maritime Organization.


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.