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Qatar makes major investments in Turkey; ‘growing partnership’ says Emir

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Erdogan seeks greater control as part of presidential system.

Qatar late on Thursday announced a series of investments in Turkey, as Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Khalifa tweeted that the two countries have a “growing partnership” and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted on their “unbreakable bond.”

The investments, by the sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, were announced during the Emir’s visit to Ankara, and included:

  • A 10 per cent stake in Borsa Istanbul, the national stock market — the value of the investment was not disclosed;
  • A $300 million investment in a luxury Istanbul shopping centre owned by Turkish conglomerate Dogus Holding;
  • QTerminals, a partly state-owned Qatari port operator, signed a $140 million deal to buy a terminal in Turkey’s Mediterranean province of Antalya from Global Ports Holding;
  • An investment in Istinye Park, one of Istanbul’s largest shopping malls that’s popular among tourists from the Middle East.

The agreement on Borsa Istanbul must still be finalised with the Turkish Wealth Fund.It would reduce the Turkish sovereign wealth fund’s stake in the company to to 80.6 per cent The stake sale comes around a year after TWF purchased EBRD’s 10 perc cent stake in the bourse.

The Qatari fund is one of the few still willing to invest in Turkey, where the lira has fallen to historic lows (currently at 9.37 to the euro). Earlier this year, Qatar concluded a swap agreement worth $5 billion to shore up the low level of currency reserves at Turkey’s central bank. Borsa Istanbul is slated to go public, but no date has been set.

The deals and grandstanding announcement indicate the growing alliance between the two countries since Erdogan received backing from Qatar after the coup attempt against him in 2016. The Turkish leader  returned the favor a year later by siding with Qatar when it came under an economic boycott from a group of countries led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

In fact, the alliance between Qatar and Turkey is seen as a counterpoint to the current economic alliances among Israel, UAE and Bahrain.


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