Turkish Wealth Fund draft submitted to Parliament

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 02.08.2016 22:51
Updated 02.08.2016 22:53
The Wealth Fund will provide finance to infrastructure projects such as highways, Channel Istanbul, the third bridge, third airport and a nuclear plant without increasing the public sector debt.
The Wealth Fund will provide finance to infrastructure projects such as highways, Channel Istanbul, the third bridge, third airport and a nuclear plant without increasing the public sector debt.

Draft law on Wealth Fund has been sent to Parliament. The fund is expected to contribute to economic growth by an additional 1.5 percent as well as creating its own sources in time and reducing the banking sector's dominant role in the financial sector

Draft law on the establishment of the Turkish Wealth Fund submitted to the Parliament yesterday, aiming to make an additional 1.5 percent contribution to Turkey's economic growth within the next 10 years.

The said draft includes regulations in important fields such as tax, energy expropriation and investment incentives. The establishment of a Turkish Wealth Fund and amendments to some laws aims to fulfill Turkey's need for one, as it is the only country among the G20 countries without a welfare fund.

According the draft law, the sources of the said welfare fund will be established in the first stage by taking a certain percentage of the various funds and revenues of the state. The fund is expected to have a structure that can create its own sources in time and reduce the banking sector's ruling role in the financial sector as well as providing finance for Turkey's mega investments.

The fund is also expected to stabilize markets in case of financial stress. Among the other goals of the fund are speeding up markets'growth and deepening; expanding the usage of Islamic financial assets; providing additional employment; supporting the local companies operating in the technology-intensive sectors such as defense, aviation and software in the basis of capital and projects and making them global players; providing finance to infrastructure projects such as highways, Channel Istanbul, the city's third bridge, third airport and nuclear plant without increasing the public sector debt; and making direct investments in international strategic sectors crucial to Turkey such as natural gas and oil independently from legal and bureaucratic limitations.

Regarding the welfare fund, the draft law says, "As well as contributing to economy to overcome its structural problems, as an important instrument of foreign policies, it will help Turkey gain more say in the international arena." While the fund has the authority to make all the capital market transactions including fixed-income securities, gold and bonds, it will also have the right to participate in the investments made by other states and/or foreign companies in the international platform.

The fund will be established with TL 50 million in fully paid capital from the Privatization Fund in the first stage. Later, the sources will be provided to the fund from the institutions and assets included in the privatization scope and program and transferred to the Turkish Wealth Fund by the Privatization High Council, and from the surplus cash decided to be transferred to Turkish Wealth Fund from Privatization Fund.

The fund will be also provided with sources through the surplus income, source and assets under the umbrella of public institutions and organizations. The first draft also includes several tax exemptions and incentives for investments strategically defined in the Economic Coordination Council.

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