Turkey to increase gold-storage capacity to become regional hub
Borsa Istanbul Stock Exchange Chairman Himmet Karadağ said the gold-storing facilities which would increase Turkey's current capacity for storage of hidden gold ten-fold with a capacity to hold up to 1,600 tons of gold and silver will soon begin operating near Kuyumcukent in Istanbul. "As in London, where gold bars of foreign countries are kept safe, [Turkey] aspires to have the same capacity [for gold storing] as well," Karadağ said.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Karadağ emphasized that market capital and the stock exchange should be strengthened in terms of volume and product diversity, including Islamic finance within that scope. The chairman said that establishment of an International Advisory Council is crucial for drawing Gulf capital to Turkey, attracting Islamically sensitive investors and increasing product diversity.
Karadağ noted that they would pave the way for not only participating banks but also non-affiliated banks that stand to benefit from the council, which would set standards to aid in the production of Islamic financial products, as well as conducting audits of those standards.
Pointing out that Turkey's 20 megaprojects were not traded on the stock exchange, Karadağ said: "We certainly need to talk to project owners and ask them to come to the stock exchange and capital markets. This proposition has serious potential. I have spoken to international investors who would like to see our prestigious mega projects on the stock exchange and in capital markets. They
are very excited." When asked how much gold Turkey has, Karadağ said: "The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) currently has about 479 tons of gold reserves." Regarding Turkey's gold reserves that are kept in London upon approval of the CBRT, Karadağ underlined the ways he plans to increase this amount, saying, "We are in close contact with the CBRT regarding how much more of our gold reserves can be hidden in Turkey." The chairman underlined that it is crucial to keep the level of market trust as high as possible and that investments are already underway at the facility in Kuyumcukent.
According to Karadağ, Turkey's gold hiding capacity will seriously increase roughly ten-fold, reaching a capacity of 1,600 tons of gold and silver. "After physically increasing our capacity, we will try to work more openly with the CBRT and other key players in the sector to ensure that gold stocks will be kept in Turkey," Karadağ said, "Just like we see in London facilities which keep the gold bars of other countries safe, we have expansion axes regarding this matter." ISTANBUL / DAILY SABAH WITH AA