Members of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association and others gathered recently for the association's first Turkey Forum and although the two-day conference ended just before Thanksgiving, it had nothing to do with the bird.
“Turkey's time has come,” the association touted in e-mails advertising the event. For private equity, Turkey is becoming a land of opportunity, according to the mailers. They claimed Turkey offers investor-friendly liberalization, deregulation and privatization policies, fast-growing business environment, and scarcity of capital.
“Turkey as a growing PE (private equity) market certainly warrants an event,” said Jennifer Choi, EMPEA spokeswoman in an e-mail response to questions. Turkey provides a sizable stand-alone market but also is an economically integrated, strong demographic story, she added.
Deal flow quality and quantity is improving and lucrative opportunities are emerging with talented managers looking for financing, she said.
Turkey is the gateway between Europe and Asia and is in a prime position to take advantage of the global flow of capital to and from the East, said Selcuk Yorgancioglu, executive director and Turkey country head at Abraaj Capital, a private equity investment firm specializing in investing in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia regions.
“Political stability and a swift recovery from the financial crisis should see this last great growth market prosper,” Mr. Yorgancioglu said in a statement on the association's website.
Jose Romano, head of Turkey and Istanbul venture capital initiative at European Investment Fund echoed Mr. Yorgancioglu's sentiments.
“Istanbul is becoming a centre for PE with the PE wave in Turkey already moving and those on it having the time of their lives!” he said in a statement on EMPEA's website. - Arleen Jacobius