President Erdoğan becomes chair of Turkey's sovereign wealth fund

President Erdoğan becomes chair of Turkey's sovereign wealth fund

President Erdoğan becomes chair of Turkeys sovereign wealth fund

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has become chairman of the country’s sovereign wealth fund and Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has become acting chairman, decisions published in the Official Gazette said on Sept. 12.

The presidential decisions also said Zafer Sönmez, the head of Turkey and Africa for Malaysia’s government investment vehicle Khazanah Nasional Bhd, had been appointed as general manager of the fund.

The new board members include Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, the head of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB); Turkish Banks Association chief and Ziraat Bank CEO Hüseyin Aydın; Arda Ermut, the head of Turkey’s investment support and promotion agency; businessman Fuat Tosyalı and Erişah Arıcan, the member of the Borsa Istanbul board, in addition to Sönmez.

In the new board, one of Erdoğan’s advisers from the board, Yiğit Bulut, was not named.

Erdoğan in 2017 said Turkey would reorganize its sovereign wealth fund after dismissing the organization’s then chairman, Mehmet Bostan, over its failure to meet targets since it was founded the year before.

The fund was set up in 2016 by the government to develop and increase the value of Turkey’s strategic assets and provide resources for investment.

The government transferred stakes worth billions of dollars of state assets, including stakes in flag carrier Turkish Airlines, major banks and fixed-line operator Türk Telekom.

Top Turkish officials repeatedly said it wanted the fund to manage $200 billion in assets as soon as possible.