Turkey's Koç sets $3.7 bln for its new investments

Turkey's Koç sets $3.7 bln for its new investments

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Turkeys Koç sets $3.7 bln for its new investments

The Chairman Mustafa Koç says that the holding eyes to do business in neighboring countries, particularly in the energy, tourisme and food sectors in 2013. AA photo

Koç Holding, Turkey’s largest conglomerate by assets, plans $3.7 billion of investments this year, Chairman Mustafa Koç has said, adding that the group also aims to do business in neighboring countries, particularly in the energy, tourism and food sectors.

European nations – despite the economic crisis – and emerging countries are their target markets, Koç said in an interview with Anatolia news agency, adding that while European markets offer advantages such as proximity, the custom union, high consumption levels and developed infrastructures, emerging markets are inviting with their high growth levels and competitive structures.

The chairman noted that the group was interested in manufacturing in developing markets, as it was looking for brand and distribution investments in these regions, adding that Arçelik, the electronic and white goods company, ranks first among their companies whose overseas business expanded the most.

Strategies in targeted countries and markets are changing in accordance with the sector’s requirements as well. “While Turkey is attractive for us in the banking sector, neighboring countries are our targets in the energy, tourism and food sectors.”

Koç Holding’s tourism companies attach importance to overseas investments and plan to make new investments for marinas, duty-free shops and hotels abroad, said Koç.

Koç stated that northern Iraq had investment potential, particularly in the energy sector, but energy projects depended on official agreements between the two states in the long term.

He said that Divan Hotel and Setur Duty Free went into service in Arbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Northern Iraq, and the construction market Koçtaş signed a deal for regional cooperation.

Growth forecast: 4.5 percent in 2013

Turkey’s growth rate will be around 4.5 percent in 2013, Koç said, claiming that the current account deficit might decrease due to a hike in savings. He also criticized Fitch’s decision to upgrade Turkey’s economic ranking to “investable” as a late move, though it could still be an important factor for drawing foreign investors to Turkey.

Koç said that the economic crisis in the European Union could be an obstacle for competitive production in these countries and even limit their future investments.

“The European Union should restructure itself, as it is not possible to talk of a common vision in Europe,” he said.