The Saudi El-Khereiji Group has initiated talks to invest $100 million in Turkey. While the agriculture and tourism industries come to the fore among planned investments, the group also plans to make hospital investments.
Solaiman El-Khereiji, chairman of the Saudi Arabia-based SAK Consultants, said that they have been working on a range of investments in Turkey in the areas of agriculture, health and accommodation, adding that they have been holding negotiations on collaborations and partnerships.
Explaining that they have a budget of up to $100 million for the investments in question, El-Khereiji stated that they want to make investments through Turkish, Saudi or international partnerships and therefore the amount of investment projects could be much higher.
SAK operates within the Saudi-based El-Khereiji Group which has investments in areas such as real estate, finance, insurance, the chemicals industry, petrochemicals, cement and food.
In an interview with Reuters, El-Khereiji said, "We have investment plans in agriculture, health and accommodation. Agriculture and food, in particular, are the areas where the Saudi government supports investments." Pointing out that Saudi Arabia imports about 80 percent of food products, El-Khereiji noted that they have been looking for partnerships and collaborations in Turkey through which they can grow agricultural products and produce meat products and export them.
"To this end, we could make land investments, as well as establish partnerships with the existing producers who have land," El-Khereiji said, adding that they have been negotiating an investment near Bodrum and that they have shown an interest in olives and olive production as well as fruit and vegetables.
Highlighting that one of the areas where they plan to invest in is hospitals, El Khereiji said that they want to a form partnership with a local investor and to grow joint-venture hospitals abroad. Indicating that there are good opportunities regarding eye diseases, El Khereiji continued, "We aim to expand these hospitals through satellite clinics that we will open in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and even the Far East."
Touching on how the investments will be made, El Khereiji noted that they want to purchase shares and find a local partner who could be either an investor, businessperson or ministry.
"For example, as part of the project we are conducting in Benin, the government has given us a large piece of land and we provided the financing. The Islamic Development Bank also looks at how it can contribute to the project. There could be a similar cooperation model in Turkey as well," he said.
Indicating that another area that they will invest in is the accommodation sector, El-Khereiji said that they have a project aimed at foreigners who make real estate investments in Turkey.
El-Khereiji continued, "Foreigners who buy houses here live in these houses for several months a year. They are not here for 9-10 months of the year... We have a new system. We buy small hotels and sell them to families on room basis. With this system, which we call the family hotel or boutique hotel, several families own the hotel." "These families purchase as many rooms as that they need, instead of buying houses. They purchase two, three or four rooms and they stay in this hotel when they come here. When they come, they do not have to deal with things like cleaning and cooking and waste their budgets on things such as dues and the common expenses of houses. When they are not here, they also generate income since the rooms can continue to be operated as hotels," El-Khereiji stressed.
Suggesting that they will start hotel investments in Istanbul and plan to expand to Bursa later, El-Khereiji stated, "We are looking at boutique hotels with 15-20 rooms. We are negotiating with a four-star hotel on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. We have offered to purchase a 70 percent share. This could be even larger. We can talk about a $12 million investment for this hotel."
El-Khereiji also underlined that they are working on an accommodation project for the elderly and that to this end, they are looking for land in Sapanca, Yalova or İznik.