Qatar will invest $7 billion in Turkish real estate, banking
Qatar will invest $7 billion in Turkey’s real estate and banking industries, said Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer of the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority.
Qatar will spend the money to meet a pledge made last year to invest $10 billion in Turkey, Al-Jaida said, according to Dünya newspaper. It has already divested 35 percent of that total, he said.
Qatari leader Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani announced a financial support and investment package of $15 billion for Turkey in August 2018 after a hastily-arranged meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara. The visit came after a political crisis with the United States and concern about Turkey’s overheating economy sparked a currency crisis.
“Turkey is a very big country and a very important market,” Al-Jaida said. “There is no doubt that returns are very profitable.”
Apart from the $10 billion pledged in investment, Qatar has provided $5 billion in currency swaps to help support the lira and economic stability. Turkey’s central bank announced last month that it had raised a currency swap ceiling with Qatar to $5 billion from a previous $3 billion. The deal was made after Erdoğan visited Doha to meet with Al Thani.
Qatar was the largest investor in Turkey last year, reflecting healthy bilateral relations and common strategy in global affairs, Al-Jaida said, according to Dünya.
Turkey can be the door to Islamic finance in Europe, just as Malaysia could be in Asia and Qatar in the Middle East and Africa, he said.
“Turkey and Qatar must speed up this process as there is much more to do because there are a lot of Islamic finance assets and investments in the Middle East,” Al-Jaida said.
Turkey can also play a very important role in the region via its planned Istanbul Finance Centre (IFC) because of its strategic location between Europe and Muslim nations, he said. Turkey should cooperate with Qatar and Malaysia to establish the necessary legal frameworks and infrastructure for Istanbul, he said, adding that the facility could provide a conduit for direct foreign investment.
The IFC is due to open in 2022. Turkey says the centre, which will include the Istanbul Stock Exchange, will make Istanbul a global centre for finance. Turkey announced plans for the facility on the Asian side of Istanbul 12 years ago, but work has been beset with delays, partly caused by the global financial crisis, a coup attempt in 2016 and last year’s currency crisis.