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Qatari money increasingly important for Turkey

Growing ties with Qatar have become a hallmark of Turkish regional policy under the Justice and Development Party, with the two countries now readying to establish a joint wealth fund.
Qatari Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (2ndL) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L), walk past a guard of honor during an official welcoming ceremony prior to their meeting at the presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey, on December 19, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN        (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) announced May 23 the approval of the membership application of Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund, created hastily last year amid criticism that it looks like a “parallel budget” to deal with growing economic woes. The IFSWF, a global network of sovereign wealth funds, includes members from more than 30 countries representing over $3 trillion of global assets under management.

The Turkey Wealth Fund (TVF), which manages assets worth about $40 billion, is still in a fledgling stage, trying to grow through joint funds with other countries. The first such fund was established with Russia, and a protocol was signed with Qatar for the second one. The accord triggered reports in April that Caykur, the state-owned tea giant in the TVF portfolio, had been sold to the Qataris, which officials denied. What is actually on the cards, though, is Caykur’s handover to the Turkish-Qatari fund as part of other potential moves to flesh out the joint venture.

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