Foreign capital interest in Turkey was not even affected by the volatility on the Turkish market in May. Many foreign companies are continung their warm-up tours in Turkey. Those who have already come to Turkey are looking for opportunities in different segments in the areas in which they already have a presence. Capital followed the trail of the foreigners who are researching the market potential in different sectors and identified the suitors.
We frequently see examples of the heads of foreign companies making speeches in which they say encouraging things about Turkey’s potential and its future and announce that they are looking for opportunities to enter Turkey. How serious are these expressions of intent?
At Capital we have prepared various articles about foreign capital. But in this article we have studied the companies which have demonstrated that they are genuinely interested in Turkey through the market research and feasibility studies they have conducted.
Bankıng Is Stıll The Favourıte
As was the case in previous years, this year it is again banking which ranks first amongst the sectors in which foreigners are interested. The foreigners who are looking at the banking sector today include both those who appeared during previous acquisitions of banks and those who are thinking of coming for the first time.
It is worth studying those who are interested in Turkey in two groups. In the first group are those who are clearly interested in the Turkish market. A sectoral source includes Calyon and Societe Generale of France, ABN Amro of the Netherlands, Bank Intesa of Italy, Citibank of the USA and the British Standard Chartered Bank in the first group. The second group, which comprises those who are less interested, includes ING of the Netherlands, KBC of the Netherlands, Barclays of the UK, the Temasek Group of Singapore, the Spanish BBVA and Banco Santander, EFG and Alfa of Greece, the Hungarian OTP Bank and Deutsche Bank of Germany.
The same source says that one must not ignore those who already have a representative office, branch or bank in Turkey and who may be looking to realise inorganic growth through an acquisition, and gives as examples banks such as UniCredit, GE, BNP Paribas and Fortis.
Another sectoral source says that we shall start to hear of other names from September onwards. He says that this interest may be whetted by Halk Bankası.
The Two Branches Of The Insurance Sector
Insurance is one of the popular branches of the financial sector. The fact that the European market has neared saturation point has increased the interest in Turkey, which has potential for growth.
Aegon of the Netherland is known to have come from time to time and to have conducted research on different companies, particularly in the pensions field. ING of the Netherlands is another company which is known to have conducted research. It is said that Oger, which bought Türk Telekom, is also said to be looking for a company.
It is said that Alliance is currently deciding whether to continue on its own or with a partner. There is talk in the sector that Generali Sigorta has spoken with several companies. It is also said that several banks are preparing to establish their own companies. There is talk that TEB/BNP Paribas is looking to establish its own life insurance company. There are also rumours that Fortis is looking for a company to operate in the non-life branch. Other banks which are on the look out include Citibank and Finansbank.
Foreıgners Eyeıng The Retaıl Sector
Analysts do not expect any new movement in the retail chainstore category. But the fact that the German Tengelmann, which has an annual turnover of €27 billion, is continuing to conduct research on the Turkish market is an indication that there may be some surprises. Tengelmann is interested in the discount market. The fact that Wal-Mart has withdrawn from the German and Korean markets has prompted comments that its planned investment in Turkey may be postponed.
It is worth remembering that the Metro Group and Koç Holding held negotiations in 1998 but that they failed to produce a concrete result. An expert on the sector says that Koç Holding will be able to find a partner which will enable it to continue to grow in the sector.
It is said that the German Roller Markt, which focuses on furniture retailing, is thinking of opening retail stores.
One of the areas of retailing that has attracted interest is clothing stores. The fact that in recent months several foreign brands have opened their first stores in Turkey in the Kalyon shopping mall is an indication of this. It is said that H&M has conducted market research on Turkey and is looking for a suitable opportunity.