Local conglomerates confident of growth, more investments

Local conglomerates confident of growth, more investments

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Local conglomerates confident of growth, more investments

Chief executives of leading conglomerates in Turkey have revealed their predictions and investment plans for the upcoming period at the CEO Club meting organized by two local business magazines. AA photo

Heads of the largest Turkish companies have expressed confidence about future investments despite concerns over the European crisis.

Energy, entertainment and retail are deemed the most promising and lucrative sectors, according to top executives speaking at an event organized by Capital and Ekonomist magazines, primarily sponsored by Vodafone.

Inorganic growth opportunities in those sectors were another highlight of what they have said signals possible mergers and acquisitions next year.

Koç Holding, one of the largest conglomerates in Turkey, aims to expand at double the rate of national economic growth, chief executive Turgay Durak said.

“We plan $4 billion of total investments excluding acquisitions,” he said.

Chief executive Zafer Kurtul of Turkish conglomerate Sabancı Holding expressed ambitious growth plans to double their capacity in energy, banking and cement production in three years, adding that they also plan to expand in retail.

The management could not make concrete and accurate predictions due to European economic woes and a recovering U.S. economy, said Doğan Holding’s chief executive Yahya Üzdiyen.
That said, he predicted commodity and energy prices might recede.

Doğan took opportunities to achieve inorganic growth goals, Üzdiyen said. “[We proceeded with] a few projects. The entertainment and energy sectors are important [for us]. We are looking into [investment] opportunities in the retail sector,” he said.

The company plans to make investments abroad in the upcoming period as well. Doğan Holding predominantly invests in the media, energy and retail sectors.

“2012 has become the year of opportunities in terms of making investments and creating jobs,” said Doğuş Holding chief executive Hüsnü Akhan. “Likewise, in 2013, we carved out business models to create competitive companies and a business plan [to pursue] partnerships in the region. ... I assume 2013 will be better than 2012. I believe both the growth of the national economy and companies will gather pace,” he said.

Regional partnerships

“We may go into regional partnerships. [My colleagues] are working to acquire existing brands or create our own brand in the restaurant and catering sector,” he said.

“Our goal is to maintain inorganic growth, we are in constant search [of acquisitions],” said Borusan Holding chief executive Agah Uğur.

He said he did not expect a big difference in business performance between 2012 and 2013. “Last year we could not grow the turnover, which was a first [in the history of the company]. I think 2013 will be similar [to this year],” he said. Borusan has investments in the pipe-making, logistics, energy and automobile distribution sectors.

Meanwhile, Turkey, which has grown despite the euro crisis, may become the economic hub of its region in the new period, yet, an ongoing contraction in Europe affecting Turkey is invitable, Vodafone Turkey Chief Executive Serpil Timuray warned.

Since September, Timuray has also served as a board member of Vodacom, the South Africa-based regional company, 65 percent of which is owned by Vodafone.

CarrefourSa issue to be cleared this year

The uncertainty at Carrefoursa, a joint venture between giant French retailer and Sabancı, may be resolved by the end of the year, Sabancı Holding Chief Executive Zafer Kurtul has said. Sabancı announced at the end of 2011 that it had authorized a financial advisory firm to assess its strategic options regarding its stake in Carrefoursa.
Carrefour Chief Executive George Plassat said in August that the retailer was considering selling some of its operations in countries like Turkey and Indonesia.
Istanbul - Reuters