11th Turkish-Arab Economic Forum jointly sponsored by Kuveyt Türk and its parent Kuwait Finance House was held yesterday (April 28) in Istanbul. The Turkish-Arab Economic Forum bringing together the representatives and businessmen from both sides in an effort to contribute to economic development of Turkey and to create new business areas in the region has also hosted the 10-year evaluation of the participation banking as an important model for the Arab world and the discussions over the goals in the future.
Chief Executive Officer at Kuwait Finance House (KFH) and Board Member of Kuveyt Türk, Mazin Saad Al-Nahedh said, at the first session of the Forum as titled “Strengthening of Connections of Banking and Capital Markets”, “In recent years, the Turkish-Arab companionship has evolved into a more intense period thanks to the increasing exchange of visits and favorable developments in the fields of economy and finance. Investment opportunities in Turkey, the biggest Middle Eastern country in terms of industry, construction and services achieving rapid growth and especially the overlap of capital surplus and needs for service in Gulf countries have created a strong synergy. On the other hand, the efforts of the governments to prepare the necessary legal and bureaucratic infrastructure to ensure that such interaction and cooperation take place in a healthy and sound environment have also allowed for such cooperation to bring it fruits within a short period of time.”
Emphasizing that the Turkish banking sector has successfully got out of the 2007-2008 global crisis and has a robust foundation, Al-Nahedh went on to say “Standing safely on this robust foundation, the participation banks have achieved an average growth rate of 30 percent during 10 years since 2006, the year regarded as a milestone for the participation banks, and with growth rate of over 30 percent, they outperformed the banking sector’s average. With the debut of public participation banks during 2015-2016, the market has become more vibrant and dynamic and the sector has adopted the goal to increase the market share being 5,1% in 2015 to 15% as of the end of 2015. 5 out of 9 biggest countries globally in terms of participation banking market are Arab countries including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. With its vibrant economy, Turkey is also among these 9 countries and we believe that the rapidly growing participation banking sector in Turkey would become more and strong with new investments. As KFH Group, our presence in Turkey for almost three decades is a result of Kuveyt Turk’s reliance on the Turkish participation banking sector. We, as KFH and Kuveyt Türk, commit ourselves to continue performing our own responsibilities in providing the financial infrastructure required in Turkish – Arab economic relations.
Drawing attention to the fact that Kuveyt Türk is the first bank having a R&D Center with A1 certificate in Turkey, Al-Nahedh said “With KT Portfolio that started its operations later last year, we started managing, in a special structure, the funds created under the principle of participation finance. Thereby we ensured that foreign investors entered the Turkish capital markets. We have catalyzed the access to Turkish investment instruments by the investors from various countries especially Gulf Countries and German and especially those who operate in participation finance market. We are also assisting the entrepreneurs in Turkey in their investments in the real estate investment funds."
Al-Nahedh also stated that Kuveyt Türk has now increased its total assets from 50 million dollars at its early days to 14,5 billlion dollars. Commenting on the importance of the sustainability in its social responsibility initiatives, Al-Nahedh stressed that Kuveyt Türk makes remarkable contributions in fields of education and culture-arts.