We have successfully completed our Bank’s first three-year strategy period from 2015 through 2017. During this period, we achieved sustainable profitability and consistent balance sheet management. We also finalized our strategy for the second period covering 2018-2020 by setting even more ambitious goals. Our primary objective is to make PASHA Bank one of the major players in the industry.
Our strategy for the first three-year period was to provide financing to leading companies in various industries while performing each of the core banking operations. As we provided project financing to energy, mining and construction industries, we also continued to support the real sector through leasing, forfaiting and accounts receivable financing. In addition to the Turkish lira-denominated bonds of various amounts with different maturities that we have been issuing since 2016, we also issued our first 5-year Eurobond in the Azerbaijan market, the first issuance realized by a foreign institution, in 2017. These issuances helped increase our Bank’s recognition in capital markets while enabling us to diversify our funding sources and extend debt maturities.
We also carried out our first M&A transaction during a period that was especially difficult in terms of mergers and acquisitions. In 2017, our Bank acted as an intermediary in the issuance of a debt instrument by a leading financial institution, thus continuing its contribution to the development of capital markets. In the coming period, we will continue to act as an intermediary in the issuance of debt instruments. As an investment bank, we will also play an active role in providing sources of financing to companies.
Evaluating 2017 from an economic perspective, I can say that it was a good year for global markets and the Turkish economy. Loan growth supported by government incentives and CGF offered a significant contribution to our economy. We expect Turkey to post strong economic growth, about 7%, in 2017. While financial flows to developing countries continued during the year, stock markets hit new records. Borsa Istanbul hit a record-high of 50%; inflation climbed mainly due to foreign exchange loss and the increase in oil prices. However, the CBRT maintained its tight monetary policy, and I believe it will continue to do so, to achieve its inflation target in the coming year.
In 2017, PASHA Bank reported a TL 16 million profit, maintaining its sustainable profitability. Our Bank’s total assets grew 76% year-over-year to reach TL 897 million. Our portfolio of cash and non-cash loans exceeded TL 1 billion, of which TL 713 million is composed of cash loans and lease financing receivables.
In 2017, PASHA Bank received a highly prestigious award, delivering global brand recognition to our Bank. PASHA Bank’s 2016 Annual Report, which combined financial data with art, won the “Grand Award in Photography” at the ARC Awards.
During the year, PASHA Bank employees took part in several social and cultural projects, providing a valuable platform for fulfilling our responsibilities to society and social stakeholders. In 2018, we will continue our social responsibility initiatives with the voluntary participation of our employees.
In line with our strategy for the 2018-2020 period, we will continue to support our economy by providing funding with our long-term financial products, through investment projects that add value to our country, and through our strong capital structure, qualified workforce and advanced infrastructure.
We will also continue to support investment projects and trade between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. As the “top-of-mind Bank” in the region, we will continue to provide financing and support entrepreneurs with our products and services.
I would like to thank my valuable colleagues, who have witnessed and contributed to our Bank’s development and will certainly continue to add value to this important process in the coming period, supporting us towards becoming a part of the whole. As well, I thank our Board Members, our customers and our shareholders who accompany us on this journey.
H. Cenk EYNEHAN
General Manager and Board Member