Erdogan appoints himself head of Turkey wealth fund

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appointed himself chairman of Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund and named his son-in-law and Finance Minister as deputy chairman. (AFP)
Updated 12 September 2018
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Erdogan appoints himself head of Turkey wealth fund

  • The fund was established in August 2016 and tens of billions of dollars worth of state assets including — wholly state-owned — Ziraat Bank were transferred to it in 2017
  • The fund’s other assets include the state’s minority 49.12-percent shareholding in flag carrier Turkish Airlines, as well as state-owned enterprises such as the PTT Turkish post office

ANKARA: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday appointed himself the chairman of Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund and named his son-in-law and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak as deputy chairman.
Zafer Sonmez, who was head of Turkey and Africa for Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd, was named as the fund’s general manager in presidential decrees published in the official gazette.
One of Erdogan’s advisers mainly known for his outlandish statements, Yigit Bulut, was removed from the board, while new members included Rifat Hisarciklioglu, the president of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).
Erdogan last year said the fund needed a “reorganization” after the first chairman Mehmet Bostan was removed from his post in September 2017.
The fund was established in August 2016 and tens of billions of dollars worth of state assets including — wholly state-owned — Ziraat Bank were transferred to it in 2017.
The fund’s other assets include the state’s minority 49.12-percent shareholding in flag carrier Turkish Airlines, as well as state-owned enterprises such as the PTT Turkish post office.
Turkish Airlines is regarded as one of Turkey’s crown jewel assets and its size is set to grow further with the move to a giant new Istanbul airport as its main hub in October.
The fund was set up in the aftermath of the attempted overthrow of Erdogan in July 2016. Its establishment was seen as a way of tightening state control over Turkey’s assets.
Such funds can be used for large projects, maintaining pensions and national welfare programs, or in times of crisis.


Rolls-Royce, others still preparing for hard Brexit

Rolls-Royce is continuing with contingency plans as uncertainty grows over whether Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan will receive backing. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung))
Updated 17 November 2018
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Rolls-Royce, others still preparing for hard Brexit

LONDON: British aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce said it was continuing with contingency plans as uncertainty grows over whether Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan will receive parliamentary backing.

“This agreement is only a draft,” CEO Warren East told BBC radio on Friday, joining a line of industry captains urging politicians to be pragmatic and not torpedo an agreement that would allow UK-EU trade to keep flowing.

“We are going to continue with our contingency plans and that includes buffer stocks so that we have all the logistical capacity that we need to carry on running our business.”

Manufacturers such as Rolls-Royce fear new customs duties and red tape could threaten the just-in-time delivery of thousands of parts on which they depend if Britain crashes out of the EU on March 29.

May’s office has released statements from a number of major companies such as Diageo, the London Stock Exchange and Royal Mail in support of her deal.

The British pound clawed back losses as May clung to her Brexit plan, and Britain’s FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 both recovered, rising 0.2 and 0.3 percent respectively after Thursday’s sharp sell-off.

But she is still grappling with the biggest crisis of her premiership following the resignation of key ministers in protest over the draft deal, and faces a tough battle to get it through Parliament if she survives. “The political situation remains uncertain,” German carmaker BMW said
late on Thursday, adding that it would continue to prepare for
the worst-case scenario, which is what a no-deal Brexit would represent.

BMW’s Mini plant in Oxford accounts for 13 percent of Britain’s total car production, with nearly 220,000 cars built there last year.