Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund ‘signs’ Islamic mortgage deal with IDB
ISTANBULTurkey’s new sovereign wealth fund has signed a framework agreement with an Islamic Development Bank (IDB) unit to develop Islamic mortgages as well as different types of cooperation, the fund’s head has stated, Reuters and Anadolu Agency reported on May 3.
Turkey’s government has already transferred stakes worth billions of dollars in Turkish Airlines, major banks and other companies to the controversial new fund, which was set up last year partly to help finance big-ticket infrastructure projects.
“The Turkish Wealth Fund [TVF] has signed a framework agreement with the Islamic Development Bank. In the framework of the agreement, it is planned to offer interest free [Islamic] mortgages with long-term installment plans to potential property buyers by establishing an Islamic mortgage company. Some derivative instruments will also come online,” TVF chairman Mehmet Bostan told reporters late on May 2.
Bostan noted that the parties aim to complete the establishment process of the related structure in the next three months.
“We want to make it online in the next one-year period,” he added.
Bostan noted that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has also voiced interest in cooperating with the Turkish fund.
$40 billion in market value
Responding to a question about how much the fund’s market value is worth, Bostan said its market value is more than $40 billion and it has over $200 billion in assets.
“After our valuation assessment, we have seen that the fund’s market value is around $40 billion and it has around $200 billion in assets. The market value is higher than our preliminary estimates,” he added.
Bostan said the TVF had the authority to support mega projects but its priority is investing in leading global industries in areas like technology, telecoms and energy.
On whether the fund would finance the planned Canal Istanbul project, Bostan said this issue is in the hands of the government.
“If the authorities ask for us to deal with the project [we will do so], but we have not yet received such an offer,” he added.
Financial technology is one of the fund’s areas of operation and it is working on a joint payment platform in mobile banking and may buy or establish a company in this area, Bostan stated.
The Turkish fund has received invites from other national funds and is negotiating with two of them after signing an agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), he added.
Bostan also noted that the fund management has been examining several wealth fund experiences across the world, mainly in Asian markets.
“For instance, the Singapore example suits very well what we want to achieve,” he said.