Mubasher: Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan named himself chairman of Turkey Wealth Fund, completely changing its management.
Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law, was appointed as the deputy chairman of the $50 billion-worth sovereign wealth fund, the country’s Official Gazette said on Wednesday.
In addition, head of Turkey and Africa for Malaysia’s government investment vehicle Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Zafer Sonmez, was named as general manager.
Among the removed board was Yigit Bulut, one of the president’s advisors.
The new board included head of the Turkish chambers of commerce Rifat Hisarciklioglu, the banking association chairman Huseyin Aydin and investment support and promotion agency head Arda Ermut.
The wealth fund was established in 2016 by the Turkish government to develop and increase the value of the country’s strategic assets and provide resources for investment.
The fund holds stakes in assets such as flag carrier Turkish Airlines, fixed-line operator Turk Telekom, state-owned lenders, oil and pipeline firms, the national postal service, the national lottery and national railway.
The role of the fund has been a matter of debate since it was founded, with some arguing that companies should be managed to add value consistent with a traditional sovereign fund, while others see that its assets could be deployed to mitigate market turbulence. Another argument is that the assets could be securitised.