Turkish firms meet giant funds with asset value exceeding $3T in US conference

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 21.01.2019 00:07

Gradually leaving behind challenges to the economy, Turkish companies want to attract foreign investors to Turkey through international meetings. To help reach this goal, high-level representatives of 13 companies traded on the Borsa Istanbul Stock Exchange (BIST) met with managers of 28 U.S. funds whose asset value exceeds $3 trillion on Jan. 17-18, Turkish daily Hürriyet reported Sunday.

The two-day event organized by Austria's long-established investment Raiffeisen Centrobank with contributions by Global Securities resulted in 189 one-to-one meetings. Representatives of Turkish companies, with a total market value of $30 billion, discussed the Turkish economy and the growth strategies of their own companies with U.S. investors.

The managers of the companies, who have already proved their crisis management skills worldwide, the report said, conveyed to investors the message, "Those who trust us will receive a good recompense for their investments" at the New York Turkey Day conference.

Raiffesein Centrobank Sales Director Özgür Güyüldar told Hürriyet that it was very positive and remarkable that U.S. investors focused on economic growth and the long-term potential of Turkish companies rather than current political developments between the two countries during the conference.

Stressing that the great interest in the conference boosted the morale of Turkish companies, Güyüldar said: "For us, this summit was a unique start to the new year. Our conference hall worked at full capacity for two days like a beehive. The dynamism of the conference was so high that the corridor conversations between investors and company representatives warmed New York's cold and snowy weather. This is proof of interest in Turkish companies, and most importantly, of trust in them."

He indicated that the only difficulty experienced in the conference was "time shortage," saying, "We observed during the conference, which was extremely fruitful, that representatives of both Turkish companies and U.S. funds did not spend their valuable time discussing the unsteady Turkey-U.S. political relations in the recent period."

Underlining that the meetings were an effective platform for economic and company-based investment opportunities, not for political developments, Güyüldar said: "We were delighted to see that not politics, but economic performance and the growth performance of companies were at the forefront of the investment decisions of U.S. funds. Of course, political developments between the two countries are being closely monitored. However, this situation is not decisive in investor perception. At the end of the day, we reaffirmed once again that the decisions of the investor were determined by the economy and company performance. Political developments influence determining the timing of investments and risk premium used in pricing."

At the conference, which was dominated by long-term funds, investors focused not on cyclical developments, but on growth, cash-generating performance, dividend yield and corporate governance of companies.

The most frequent question faced by Turkish company representatives was the impact of the economic slowdown on companies and when the recovery would begin.

While the expectation that the second half of 2019 would be very positive came to the fore during the conference, the consensus was that the start of a downward trend in inflation and stabilization in exchange rates, as well as the central bank's interest rate cuts in the coming period, would support growth and positively reflect on company balance sheets.

Thirteen Turkish companies from various sectors, including five banks, traded on BIST with a market value of nearly $30 billion, attended the two-day event. The vice general managers of Akbank, Garanti Bank, Yapı Kredi, Vakıfbank and the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) participated in the meeting, while Koç Holding, Şişe Cam, Anadolu Group Holding, MLP Care, Mavi Giyim, Yataş, Bizim Toptan and Lokman Hekim showed up with high-level representatives.

Indicating that Turkish companies' representatives were also very pleased by the great interest shown, Raiffesein Centrobank Sales Director Güyüldar said, "We believe that the development of comprehensive policies by government agencies on this issue is of great importance to ensure long-term and stable improvement in investor perception."

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