EBRD: Borsa Istanbul will support Istanbul financial hub
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoDeveloping Borsa Istanbul is an important component of building the Istanbul financial hub, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Director for Turkey Jean-Patrick Marquet told Anadolu Agency in an interview on June 5.
On May 29, the EBRD entered exclusive negotiations to acquire a 10 percent stake in Borsa Istanbul, which is currently majority-owned by the Turkish government and is the only stock exchange in Turkey. The deal was subject to regulatory approval.
“The Borsa Istanbul project is important for us. It’s important for two reasons; one, Turkey wants to build Istanbul as a financial hub, and developing the exchange is a very important component of that objective,” Marquet said.
“The second objective is that we are getting into equity investments, usually in unlisted Turkish corporates; we need an exit strategy for the developing markets, and thus developing [relations with Borsa Istanbul] is an important objective for us. We have signed a commercial agreement with Borsa Istanbul, and now we will need the regulatory approval. Hopefully the investment will be finalized in the course of the third quarter. It’s subject to regulatory approval,” he said.
Borsa Istanbul already has partnerships with foreign exchanges like the Nasdaq with various exchanges in Central Asia. “One of the contributions would be building these relationships, and we have previously invested in the Moscow Stock Exchange, the Bucharest Stock Exchange, so we know how to establish partnerships and how to grow,” Marquet said.
“Investing in equity, in exchanges and in Turkish corporates will attract more interest, and will help to improve access to equity for Turkish companies,” he added.
Marquet said he expected Turkey to continue to rank first in the EBRD investment portfolio. “Last year we invested 1.4 billion euros ($1.57 billion) in Turkey, and this year, our plan is to invest 1.75 billion euros ($1.96 billion). We expect to continue at a similar number in years to come. So that would make Turkey the largest recipient of the EBRD. We have very diverse investments in the country: In energy, the corporate sector, working with the Turkish banks to finance SME’s [small and medium-sized enterprises], in capital markets like Borsa Istanbul so we have a very broad base. We are open to expanding our partnership in general. For Borsa Istanbul the next objective is, I understand, to list on its own exchange and that should take place in 2016, so we expect energy to be very much focused on that pretty short-term objective. At this point, this is where we are, but of course we are open,” Marquet added.
Marquet also said the EBRD received guidance from its shareholders in 2014 that they were not prepared to make further investments in Russia. Since the middle of last year, the EBRD has not had new projects in Russia.