1 Temmuz 2011 Cuma

Arab funds channel to Turkey, says top professional

Friday, July 1, 2011

Gökhan Kurtaran
Funds from Arab countries such as Kuwait, Qator and United Arab Emirates have stepped back from turmoil-hit Middle East and North African as they ready to invest in Turkey’s growing property market, according to the chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle Turkey

Kuwait Investment Authority, or KIA, Qatar Investment Authority, or QIA, and Abu Dabi Investment Authority, or ADIA, have planned to make major investments in office blocks, residences, hotels and shopping malls in Turkey,” Avi Alkaş told the Hürriyet Daily News on the sidelines of a press meeting in Istanbul.

ADIA has more than $600 billion in assets located all over the world, while KIA is estimated to have in excess of $200 billion and QIA $60 billion.

“Economic instability in Europe and turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa encourage investors to make major investments in Turkey,” Alkaş said. Turkey recorded 8.9 percent growth, one of the highest figures among OECD and G-20 countries, last year.

Both investors and occupier demand have been positively affected by Turkey’s strong economic growth out of the crisis, together with the political stability of the country as a result of the general elections held June 12, Alkaş said.
Arab investment in Turkey totaled $10.6 billion at the end of last year, according to Ibrahim S. Dabdoub, chief executive of the National Bank of Kuwait, who recently spoke to the Daily News on the sidelines of the sixth Turkish-Arab Economic Forum in Istanbul.

Recalling how Turkey’s retail market remains “promising” for investors, Alkaþ said the Istanbul Shopping Fest held March 18 to April 26 this year was widely supported by retailers and investors and increased debit card and credit card spending by 26 percent compared with the same period in 2010. “The figure shows how dynamic the retail market is in the country.”

More international brands are eyeing investment in the retail sector in the country, he said. “The Demsa Group plans to expand in the secondary cities with Guess stores and Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Hermes and Chanel are expected to open up their first stores in Istinye Park in the second half of this year.”

Turkey’s organized retail gross leasable area, or GLA, reached 6.96 million square meters with a growth of 441,000 square meters in the first five months of 2011 according Jones Lang LaSalle. Major shopping centers opened in Istanbul during this period are Marmara Forum with 137,000 square meters and Sapphire Shopping Center with 27,000 square meters and Demirören Shopping Center with 19,500 square meters leasable space.

The unit monthly prime rent, which has remained stable at 75 euros per square meter from the third quarter 2009 and until the end of 2010, has seen a 5 euro increase reaching 80 euro. “The increase trend will continue” and reaching 85 euros by the end of 2012, Alkaþ said.

Occupier demand in the office market has continued to pick up and rental growth is expected to start though the second half of the year, according to Alkaþ. Some 66,000 square meters take up volume was recorded during the first five months of this year, more than three times compared to the same period last year, according to official figures.

“Northern Iraq is more connected to Ankara than Bagdad economically,” said Alkaþ, recalling that many Turkish companies aim to grow in the newly developing region. “Northern Iraq, which was seen as the most dangerous of all, is now the safest region in Middle East and will continue to attract Turkish investors,” he said. “Turkish company assets in the region reached a total volume of $621 million by the end of last year according to the Kurdish Globe, an English-language newspaper in Arbil

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