Gulf investors interested in Turkiye’s highways

Investors from Gulf nations are interested in Türkiye’s highway projects as well as the country’s ports, while exploring opportunities in renewables.

Companies from the Gulf nations are in talks to buy stakes in the Northern Marmara Highway, Istanbul-İzmir Highway and the Çanakkale Highway, according to sources.

Firms from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar want to buy stakes in the Ankara-Kırıkkale Delice Highway and the Antalya-Alanya Highway,the sources said.

According to the sources, those investors also put the high-speed train project between Ankara and Istanbul on their radar.

The government plans to launch the high-speed train project by 2028, said the sources, adding that the public-private partnership model is being considered for this project.

The sources, however, said the sale of a stake in Turkish Airlines is not on the agenda.

Following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar in July, investors from those countries have turned their eyes to opportunities in Türkiye.

They are particularly interested in renewables investments, such as solar and wind power, but also holding talks to buy stakes in the transport projects, which are currently being developed under the build-operate-transfer scheme.

On the top of the list of Gulf investors is the 400-kilometer-long Northern Marmara Highway project on the European side of Istanbul, said the sources.

Companies from the Gulf are also keeping a close eye on the Ankara-Kırıkkale Delice and the Antalya-Alanya Highway projects, they added.

The tenders for those projects have been postponed to December.

Gulf investors also express interest in some of the country’s ports and are considering acquiring stakes in the highways that have been completed and put in service, according to the sources.

If investors from the Gulf countries buy stakes in the existing highways, the Turkish operators of those projects are more likely to use the proceeds from the stake sales in new investments, said the sources.

The World Bank last week announced that it plans to increase exposure to Türkiye to $35 billion within three years.

“The bank’s decision is a further endorsement of our medium-term economic program,” said Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek on the X platform on Sept. 8.

This is in addition to UAE’s previously announced three-year investment plan totaling nearly $51 billion, he noted.

“The availability of such significant external funding undoubtedly enhances the successful execution of our program,” Şimşek said.


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