Gulf investors gather at Istanbul’s WEF

Gulf investors gather at Istanbul’s WEF

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Gulf investors gather at Istanbul’s WEF

Abraaj board member Yorgancıoğlu says company will invest more in Turkey.

Istanbul’s World Economic Forum (WEF) has served as a platform for Middle Eastern investors seeking business opportunities in Turkey, with Gulf Capital, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and Abraaj Capital announcing at the WEF that they are interested in investing in Turkey.

Gulf Capital’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Karim El Shol told daily Sabah that next week his company will be announcing the acquisition of a Turkish service-sector company.

“The price of this purchase will be around $30 million. We are also looking at the food, logistics, services and health sectors,” he added. Gulf Capital has set aside $120 million out of a $300 million fund just for Turkey, according to El Shol.

Abraaj Capital, which manages its regional business from its Istanbul office, is also currently negotiating with three local firms. Abraaj Capital founder and CEO Arif Naqvi, who is known for his investments in Turkey, including Numarine and the Acıbadem hospital chain, said “Turkey is a fantastic investment destination. It has all the conditions necessary for investment. We are speaking to many companies ranging from the logistics to finance sectors.”

Abraaj Capital board member Selçuk Yorgancıoğlu added that Abraaj already has five investments in Turkey, but the company is currently only continuing its partnership with Acibadem Sigorta.

‘Turkey shining star’

The third firm, NBK, entered the Turkish market in 2007 with its 40 percent purchase of Turkish Bank. NBK has since invested in Turkish firms such as Kılıç Deniz and Dünya Göz Hastaneleri. NBK Executive Board Director Ibrahim Dabdoub said Turkey was a shining star and that his company would continue to invest in the country, but also said that Turkey needs to concentrate on teaching better English-language skills if it wants to become a financial center.

Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade Nicolas Nahhas said yesterday that Turkey and Lebanon were aiming to become more economically integrated. The Arab Spring was just the beginning, Nahhas said, speaking to Anatolia news agency. “We can now move on to a stage in which we can have more active cooperation, from a sleeping peace.”

Recently, Turkey and Lebanon have had the goal of moving towards economic integration, and Turkey’s issuing of a banking license to Audi Bank was a crucial step toward facilitating a joint platform between the two countries in the financial sector, Nahhas said.

“Investments in the fields of tourism, industry and hotels can now take place in Lebanon. We are in constant contact with the Association of Turkish-Lebanese Businessmen. The association works well and will get better. We hope that the governments of Turkey and Lebanon have a joint vision. We can look at the future with hope when there is a joint vision in industry and investments,” Nahhas said. k HDN