Exports by the divisions of Koc Holding, Turkey’s largest conglomerate, make up fully 10% of the country’s exports, the company’s chairman told Anadolu Agency on Friday.
“Combined turnover created by Koc Group companies equals 8% of [Turkey’s] national income,” Omer Koc said, adding that considering the economic troubles and political developments seen in Turkey and worldwide in 2019, this is a satisfactory result.
Indicating that the Koc Group has invested $38 billion over the last five years, he said the risks associated with uncertainty today can be seen as opportunities that accompany the dynamics of change and prepare the company for tomorrow.
“Short-term fluctuations cannot prevent us from focusing on our long-term goals,” he added.
With the abundance of liquidity around the world, the flow of funds to emerging markets has resumed, a trend Turkey is not reaping enough benefit from, said Levent Cakiroglu, the CEO of Koc Group.
He said thanks to the recovery in domestic demand, growth is expected to rise to around 4-5% in the last quarter of 2019.
Saying that inflation, exchange rates, interest rates, and Turkey’s current account balance also displayed a relatively positive course, Cakiroglu said employment losses are the main problem faced by the economy.
‘Private equity firms raise prices irrationally’
On the other hand, he said, when the company pursues company acquisitions to expand abroad, it sees potential buyers, especially private equity companies, raising prices in a way that is not rational.
“Cash-rich giant companies are taking back their shares. This year, companies under the S&P 500 are estimated to have bought back more than $1 trillion,” he explained.
Underlining that stock markets around the world are rising in a negative interest environment, he said in an environment where interest rates are so low, inevitably, exchanges are becoming an important alternative.
He added: “Developed economies did not respond to interest rate cuts and monetary expansion, interest rates even lower than zero. However, people do not spend as much as expected, companies do not invest.”
The main reason for this situation is that companies and individuals still lack confidence in the economy, politicians do not understand this dynamic enough, so people are still using old methods to solve new problems, he said.
Founded in 1926, the Koc Group, in terms of its sales, exports, share in the Borsa Istanbul stock exchange, and number of employees, is the biggest group of companies in Turkey.
*Writing by Aysu Bicer