Dünya – Claiming a share of the steady stream of Japanese investments flowing into Turkey in recent years, the Turkish mergers & acquisitions (M&A) market witnessed eight transactions involving companies from the Far Eastern nation amounting to USD 502 million in 2013.
More M&As are expected this year between Japanese and Turkish companies, according to Deloitte M&A Advisory Head, Mehmet Sami, who pointed to the energy, logistics and food sectors as primary targets for Japanese investors. Sizeable transactions realized by Japanese companies last year in Turkey include ; Panasonic’s acquisition of a 90 percent stake in wiring device maker Viko, Ajinomoto’s acquisition of a 50 percent stake in food company Kemal Kukrer and Hitachi Transport System’s acquisition of 51 percent of shares in logistics company, Mars Lojistik.
Seen as an entry point to the emerging markets of Africa and the Middle East thanks to its unique location at the intersection of continents, Turkey’s fast growing economy, favorable demographics and skilled labor pool are also critical for Japanese companies looking for growth in overseas markets.
“The Turkey of 20 years ago, which suffered from chronic inflation and high interest rates, was not on the list of Japanese investors. Economic accomplishments in recent years have changed this and Japanese investment sentiment towards Turkey is strong”, said Mehmet Sami of Deloitte Turkey as he explained the increasing Japanese interest in Turkey. “Financial institutions from Japan are keen on investing in Turkey. The country is seen as a strategic priority for its domestic growth potential and cooperation opportunities with Turkish companies to do business in neighboring countries”, he added.
In close cooperation with the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT), three of Japan’s largest lenders, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) and Mizuho Corporate Bank, have made their entries into the country in 2012. BTMU has acquired a banking license and opened a dedicated bank in Turkey while the other two have representative offices. ISPAT also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) during Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Japan on January.
Also on a growth trend, direct investments by Japanese companies into Turkey reached USD 483 million in the first 10 months of 2013. Nearly 200 Japanese companies are active in Turkey in the fields of automotive, chemicals, finance, services, food, logistics and wholesale. A Japanese-led consortium is building Turkey’s second nuclear power plant on the country’s Black Sea coast.