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By Evrim Ergin
BURSA, March 21 (Reuters) - Turkey’s Russian-owned lender Denizbank is in talks with Azeri state oil company SOCAR over a $1.7 billion loan package for investments, Denizbank Chief Executive Officer Hakan Ates said on Friday.
The package would exclude the multi-billion dollar Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline project (TANAP), designed to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.
“We are in talks with SOCAR for a loan package worth $1.7 billion for their investments in Turkey, excluding TANAP,” Ates told Reuters at the Uludag economic summit.
SOCAR owns Turkish petrochemical company Petkim, and is building the $5.5 billion Star refinery in partnership with Turcas Petrol to supply feedstock to Petkim and cut Turkey’s dependence on imported refined products.
Earlier this week, SOCAR Turkey’s chief executive Kenan Yavuz told Reuters it had agreed with a commercial bank on fresh financing of $500 million to replace the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development who had withdrawn from a consortium financing the Star refinery.
Yavuz declined to name the commercial bank but sources close to the deal said it was Denizbank, owned by Russia’s Sberbank . (Writing by Ece Toksabay and Dasha Afanasieva; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)