4/1/2013

Turkey’s gigantic projects are drawing global investment funds – ISPAT President

Dünya - Foreign investments into Turkey are arriving in all shapes and types, most notably as investment funds with significant holdings in the Istanbul Stock Exchange – soon to be renamed to Istanbul Bourse – who now look into investing in the country’s enormous infrastructure projects that are about to leave the drawing board.


Standing out as a shining example of growth and bright prospects, recently boosted by rating upgrades, Turkey’s high performing economy is drawing investment management firms from the US, Canada, Sweden, Norway and others, according to Ilker Ayci, head of Turkey’s official investment agency. Speaking on the sidelines of a conference that brought together investment opportunities in Turkey’s infrastructure sector and representatives from global investment management firms in London, the President of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) said that pension funds from the US and Canada were expressing interest in large scale infrastructure projects like Istanbul’s third airport, the third bridge over the Bosphorus and upcoming privatizations.


“We have been observing intense interest in urban transformation and Istanbul’s third airport project by foreign investors, Japanese investors are particularly interested in urban transformation while the Chinese are interested in any infrastructure project taking place in Turkey” the ISPAT President noted, adding that the country’s privatization program was also closely monitored by investors from all over the world. “Sovereign funds from the Gulf and Far Eastern countries are expected to invest in Turkish infrastructure projects.” Ayci added, saying that foreign investors would make up USD 150 billion of the total USD 250 billion that Turkey plans to invest in its infrastructure over the next 10 years and that the country’s political and economic stability would play a key role in drawing these investments.


“This year will see a concentration of foreign investments in financial services, insurance and energy sectors.” Ayci went on to say, noting that the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s (BTMU) branch opening in Turkey was likely to draw more investors from that part of the world to Turkey.


As part of its urban transformation project, which is worth hundreds of billion dollars, Turkey will replace and renew millions of old buildings in cities located on an active seismic fault lines. The third bridge and airport projects in Istanbul are notable examples of public private partnership models providing significant opportunities for investors. The country’s privatization program is also gaining pace this year with the planned privatization of healthcare facilities in addition to the selling of operating rights for remaining state-owned power generation and distribution companies.
Following last year’s rating upgrade to ‘investment grade’ by Fitch, another credit rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, upgraded Turkey’s rating to BB+ last week, just one level below investment grade.

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