We have come to the most important stage in the pandemic period, which we have been living with for about 18 months and left its mark on history. We are hopeful for the second half of the year with a rapid and intensive vaccination program.
In addition to the supportive fiscal and monetary policies, the global economy is following a very strong course this year thanks to the rapid vaccination. In Turkey, robust 7 percent growth rate attained in the first quarter of the year is expected to rise to double digits in the second quarter of 2021. We believe that economic growth will continue in the second half of the year on the back of the recovery in the service sector, especially in the tourism sector, and the momentum in the global economy.
As recovery in the economy is among our top priorities and it is necessary to make this sustainable. It is important that the vaccination continues quickly, so that a possible lockdown is not put into the agenda again. In addition, we believe that the developments in the markets should be closely monitored, and policies that will limit the impacts of possible fluctuations on the economy should be empowered and maintained. Struggling against inflation and maintaining tight fiscal policies are likely to be the most critical topics for the upcoming period.
In addition to these economic developments, we entered a new era in terms of working life and the way of doing business. The pandemic showed us the importance of digitalization and technological infrastructure. We are in a new era now. Institutions that have completed the digitalization process and kept their technological infrastructure strong will progress faster on this path. At QNB Finansbank, we have positioned ourselves among the most powerful banks in this period with our long-standing digitalization investments.
In addition to our banking services, we remember our social responsibility projects and our duties for sustainable development. In May, we increased and renewed our syndicated loan and obtained a total of USD 335 million financing from international banks. This funding was achieved through commitments to sustainable development. We issued our first green bond by EBRD in June. The Bank's first green bond issuance of USD 50 million is also the EBRD's first green bond investment in a bank in Turkey. We continue to work harder in order to prepare more children for the future under the Small Hands Big Dreams ("Minik Eller Büyük Hayaller") platform.
We maintained our steady growth in the fight against COVID, in the first 6 months of 2021. As of 30 June 2021, the total assets of QNB Finansbank increased by 14 percent, compared to the end of 2020, reaching TL 258 billion 997 million, while net loans grew by 13 percent to TL 157 billion 415 million, and customer deposits rose by 20 percent to TL 150 billion 915 million. Within the first 6 months of 2021, the Bank's net period profit realized at TL 1 billion 410 million.
I would like to thank once again all my colleagues for contributing to this growth with their support and dedication, despite the challenging conditions of the pandemic, their families for supporting them throughout the pandemic, our customers, and all our stakeholders for their contributions.
Ömer A. Aras