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Business News Turkey December 2023

Business

SYSTRA opens second office in Turkey

French SYSTRA Group, which has been providing design and consultancy services for metro, railway, and motorway projects in Turkey since 2011, has inaugurated its new Istanbul office in addition to the existing one in Ankara. According to SYSTRA Group COO Jean-Charles Vollery, Turkish contractors are key players in the Design & Build market, and investing further in Turkey is a way to develop their strength in the transport sector and make the most of this great potential. The company plans to further expand its current workforce of 125 employees over the next few years.

Nov. 7, 2023

Swedish Care starts operating in Turkey

Stockholm-based Swedish Care, a company with digital health investments in many countries around the world, has brought the DoktorNow brand to Turkey with an investment of EUR 1.5 mn. In the mobile application, patient complaints about primary diseases are received through artificial intelligence, and users start meeting with the doctor online within an average of 5 minutes. Swedish Care CEO Magnus Norberg underlined that his company regards Turkey as a strategic market and plans to increase its investment there at least five-fold within 5 years.

Nov. 14, 2023

Vitol-owned Petrol Ofisi acquires BP’s fuel operations in Turkey

Petrol Ofisi, Turkey’s leading fuel and lubricant company owned by Dutch energy trading giant Vitol, has announced the signing of a share purchase agreement to acquire BP’s fuel operations in Turkey. Chris Bake, board member of Vitol, said that this step will further strengthen the Petrol Ofisi Group, adding that they have full confidence in the future of Turkey with its young and dynamic population and growth potential. BP has been conducting business in Turkey since 1912 and operates 770 fuel stations around the country. Following the acquisition, the number of nationwide Petrol Ofisi dealers will increase from currently 1,935 to 2,705.

​Nov. 17, 2023

Minimum capital requirements increased

Pursuant to a new Presidential Decree, the minimum capital requirements have been increased to TRY 250,000 for Joint Stock Companies and TRY 50,000 for Limited Companies. The regulation, effective as of Jan. 1, 2024, will only be valid for companies established as from this date, while not applying to existing companies. However, existing companies are also advised to raise their capital to these amounts in order to strengthen their equity positions.

Nov. 26, 2023

Taiwan Cement Corporation acquires shares from OYAK

Turkish OYAK has reached a preliminary agreement with its partner Taiwan Cement Corporation (TCC), one of the leading cement producers in the Far East, on the sale of its 60 percent share in Cimpor Portugal Holdings and 20 of its 60 percent share in its subsidiary OYAK Denizli Cement. Süleyman Savaş Erdem, OYAK General Manager, said that approximately USD 740 mn of cash resources will be provided through the sale. Nelson Chang, TCC Chairman, stated that they have decided to increase their share in this partnership in line with their trust in Turkey, and that they are evaluating investment opportunities in carbon emission reduction technologies, electric batteries and energy storage in Turkey together with OYAK.

Nov. 29, 2023

Renault to invest EUR 400 mn in Bursa

Renault Group has announced that it will produce 4 new models in its Bursa factory by 2027. The new Renault Duster, the first of the SUV family, will be offered for sale in Turkey in the second half of 2024 with a hybrid engine option. Over EUR 400 mn will be invested for new models, with the French carmaker aiming to make one-third of its sales in Turkey from electric or hybrid vehicles by 2027. Fabrice Cambolive, CEO Renault Brand, said that his company has been operating in Turkey for 54 years, together with its strong and reliable local partner OYAK, and they will make the Bursa factory the export centre of not only Europe but also other countries of the world.

Dec. 8, 2023

 

Politics

Erdoğan pays visit to Germany

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have held a joint press conference before their meeting in Berlin. Stating that it is in their common interest to carry out defence industry cooperation without any obstacles, President Erdoğan said that Turkey and Germany should cooperate more closely in the fight against terrorism. Commenting on the Israeli-Palestinian war, Erdoğan said that it should not be judged in a mindset of indebtedness, adding that “I speak freely because we don’t owe anything to Israel. But those who are in debt cannot speak freely”.

Nov. 17, 2023

Erdoğan visits Algeria

During his visit to Algeria, President Erdoğan held a bilateral meeting with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. Emphasizing that 13 agreements have been signed, Erdoğan said that they aim to transform their relations in the field of energy into a long-term partnership by shaping it with a new vision. In a social media post, Alparslan Bayraktar, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced that the duration of the agreement for the delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Algeria to Turkey has been extended until 2027.

Nov. 22, 2023

Turkey and Qatar sign 12 agreements

During his visit to Qatar, 12 agreements about cooperation in various fields have been signed in the presence of President Erdoğan and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Erdoğan also addressed the participants of the 44th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit held in Qatar. Stating that Turkey’s trade volume with the Gulf countries has increased 13-fold in the past 20 years to reach USD 23 bn as of last year, Erdoğan pointed out that the resumption of Turkey-Gulf Cooperation Council Free Trade Agreement negotiations and the agreement’s entry into force in a short time will further stimulate trade.

Dec. 6, 2023

Mitsotakis receives Erdoğan in Athens

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has received President Erdoğan in Athens. The two statesmen signed a declaration on the establishment of friendly relations between the two countries for the first time since 1930. Mitsotakis stated that Greece consistently supports Turkey’s European Union membership process, and that they have requested the EU Commission to provide Turkish citizens with the opportunity to visit 10 Greek islands with a visa on arrival.

Dec. 8, 2023

Economy

Turkish Central Bank continues to raise interest rate

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey has raised its policy rate (the one-week repo auction rate) – from 35.00% to 40.00%. The bank stated that “the pace of monetary tightening will slow down and the tightening cycle will be completed in a short period of time.”

Nov. 23, 2023

Exports increase 7.4% in October

In October 2023, the Turkish economy saw an increase of exports by 7.4%, while imports only increased by 0.6% over the same month of the previous year (YOY). With exports amounting to USD 22.9 bn and imports of USD 29.4 bn, the trade deficit was cut by 17.5% to USD 6.5 bn during the same period. In October, Germany remained Turkey’s biggest export partner (USD 1.8 bn), ahead of Iraq (USD 1.3 bn), and the USA (USD 1.3 bn). China continued to be the country with the most imports to Turkey (USD 3.8 bn), followed by the Russian Federation (USD 3.2 bn), and Germany (USD 2.6 bn).

Nov. 29, 2023

5.9% economic growth in Q3/23

In the third quarter of 2023, Turkey’s GDP increased by 5.9% compared to the same period of the previous year. The quarterly GDP at current prices increased to TRY 7,681.4 bn, or to USD 295.8 bn in dollar terms. The construction industry recorded 8.1% growth, the manufacturing sector 6.2%, the service industry 4.3%, and the agriculture sector only 0.3%.

Nov. 30, 2023

S&P upgrades Turkey’s outlook to positive

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has kept Turkey’s sovereign credit rating at B while upgrading the country’s outlook from “stable” to “positive”. The agency emphasized that policy makers are making progress towards cooling the economy, the Central Bank is slowly rebuilding its depleted net foreign exchange reserve stock, and the country’s twin deficits are decreasing.

Dec. 2, 2023

Inflation increases slightly

In November 2023, consumer prices in Turkey were up 3.28% over the previous month, while the CPI registered as 61.98% YOY, only slightly above the October figure of 61.36%. The largest monthly price hike occurred in housing (11.17%), followed by alcoholic beverages and tobacco (9.16%). Among the main product groups, only clothing and footwear saw a decrease (-0.31%). As before, the highest annual price increase was reported for hotels, cafés, and restaurants (92.86%). The domestic producer price index (D-PPI) increased by 2.81% monthly, and by 42.25% YOY.

Dec. 4, 2023

Unemployment continues to decrease

In October 2023, approximately 2,961,000 people in Turkey aged 15 and older were officially out of work. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 8.5% was 0.5 points lower than in the previous month, and 1.7 points down YOY. The labour force participation rate registered as 53.1% in total, and 35.7% for females.

Dec. 11, 2023

Industrial production increases slightly

In October, Turkey’s industrial production index increased by 1.1% YOY while the manufacturing industry recorded a plus of 1.3%. The highest increases in the manufacturing industry category were reported in the product groups “repair and installation of machinery and equipment” (24.6%), “motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers” (14.0%), and “other manufacturing” (11.8%), with the largest decreases occurring in the product groups “printing and reproduction of recorded media” (-19.8%), “wearing apparel” (-16.7%), and “leather and related products” (-7.8%).

Dec. 11, 2023

Overview of Monthly Data

overview

Growth Rates

Growtyh

Inflation

Inflation