International Finance Corp to invest $1B in Turkey this year

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 05.04.2017 00:53

Operating in Turkey since 2001, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to invest upwards of $1 billion in Turkey this year, continuing a tradition of investments in the country that span five decades.

Manager of IFC Turkey Aisha Williams said the financial institution will make significant investments in Turkey until the end of the year, asserting that the IFC has already invested approximately $500 million during thisfiscal year which ends on June 30, 2017.

"I predict that we will be able to invest another $500 million in financial institutions and projects in Turkey by the end of the year, meaning that we anticipate closing this year with an estimated investment of around $1 billion," Williams said.

The manager of IFC Turkey told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they have been investing in Turkey since 1964, adding that the IFC has experienced many ups and downs as a long-term investor in the Turkish economy over the years.

Recalling that Turkey's growth rates were affected by the July 15 failed coup attempt in the last quarter of 2016, Williams said that the World Bank anticipates 2.7-percent growth in Turkey's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017.

"To me, Turkey has tremendous potential. According to World Bank predictions, the GDP will grow at a rate of 3 to 3.5 percent in 2018 and 2019, a forecast that indicates positive development for Turkey. However, these figures alone are not enough to ensure Turkey's development,"Williams noted.

IFC Turkey's manager said that they invested $1.5 billion in Turkey last year and provided $360 million in short-term trade financing, amounting to $600 million in investment shares in various companies.

Williams said that the IFC has made long-term share investments in companies including Rönesans Holding, Odeabank, Fibabanka and Akfen.

$14.2 billion for more than 300 projects in private sectorAccording to IFC Turkey's manager, the IFC has provided $14.2 billion in investments for 350 projects in the private sector over the past 52 years. The institution's portfolio size in Turkey stands at around $5 billion, comprised of $4.1 billion in IFC capital and $900 million in mobilized assets from other financial institutions.

Indicating that the IFC's Turkey portfolio is comprised of investments across Turkey's private sector including 45 percent in financial institutions, 30 percent in infrastructure companies and 25 percent in the industrial, health and education sectors, Williams said the IFC has invested heavily in Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects in Turkey's health sector.

Williams pointed out that they have invested approximately $500 million in Turkey since the 2016-2017 fiscal year began, noting: "I predict that we will be able to invest approximately $500 million more in financial institutions as well as projects in Turkey by the end of the year, meaning that the IFC anticipates closing this year with investments totaling around $1 billion."

Stressing that Turkey is the second most highly invested country in the world in terms of the IFC with a portfolio size of approximately $5 billion, Williams said that the IFC works very closely with international investors, underlining that Turkey needs domestic and foreign investments in order to grow, stressing that it needs to attract international investors.

Williams said the the most important factors investors look for are transparency, support for investment efficiency and innovative development potential in the country, adding: "When I talk to foreign investors, they see an opportunity in Turkey's economy; they see the country's population of 80 million and its position as a bridge between Asia and Europe. Investors do, however, also see difficulties as well."

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