Linklaters has advised Turkey’s Garanti Bank on its issue of USD 75 million of so-called "gender bonds," focused on financing small enterprises and companies owned or managed by women in Turkey. The issue — the first such in an emerging market — was subscribed by the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.
The investment was made in partnership with the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF), launched by IFC through its Banking on Women Program, and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women. All the financing raised though the bond issue will be earmarked for on-lending to Garanti Bank’s women-owned small business clients. The bond issue is expected to boost the number of the bank’s women-owned small business loans by up to three times over the next five years
According to Linklaters, "in Turkey, nearly 30% fewer women than men have access to individual financial services. Similarly, only about 9% of total small and medium sized businesses are owned by women and they face a credit gap of USD 5 billion, constraining business growth for these companies. The gender bond, a new financing structure in both the Turkish market as well as the international capital markets, will help create funding to support women entrepreneurs and business owners.”
Richard O’Callaghan, Capital Markets partner at Linklaters, says: “We’ve been at the forefront of the most interesting developments in the capital markets over many years, and these gender bonds really stand out as something that will have meaningful societal impact in the long-term. It’s an innovative financing tool which can easily be replicated in other markets.”
The Linklaters team advising Garanti Bank was led by Partner Richard O’Callaghan and includes Counsel Morag Russell and Associate Sebastian Witte.
Editor's Note: After this article was published Paksoy announced that it acted as a Turkish local counsel to the issuer Garanti Bank. The team led by Partner Omer Collak and included Associates Pınar Tuzun and Merve Kurdak Kurtdarcan..