Turkey Wealth Fund Managing Director Zafer Sönmez answered questions from NTV Ankara Intelligence Chief Ahmet Ergen.
Commenting on the discussions on the reasons for the creation of the Wealth Fund, Sönmez said:
“There is a misconception about this. The perception that only countries with a current account surplus have wealth funds is not correct. There are over 80 wealth funds in the world. important is the source of the fund.The source of the fund can be an oil surplus, an export surplus, a current account surplus.In addition, another There is the asset-based development fund, which is a model. There are several examples of this around the world. The model in Turkey is the asset-based development fund. It is a model focused on creating value.
We are not in the daily business. We seek to contribute to the value created by companies. Wealth Fund brings a specialty. Sometimes a catalyst is needed. The fund aims to contribute to the strategic objectives. I spoke to the managing director of the Italian wealth fund. They do not have a large workforce, but they fulfill a complementary function to their subsidiaries. The Wealth Fund staff is currently around 40 to 50 people. We are increasing our current staff organically. Since we grew up in a certain plane, we try to build a wall by putting a brick every day seeing ahead.”
“THE SHARES OF THE COMPANY ARE NOT IN ACCOUNT”
Regarding the alleged pledging of company shares in the Wealth Fund, Sönmez pointed out that the matter had been discussed in the past but had not been accepted, and said: “There is no plan to pledging or mortgaging assets on our agenda There is no pledging This was one of the alternatives, but it was rejected That’s it Our main objective is “The fund is a self-financing structure. Our difference with the Treasury is that we make our own loans for the growth of the subsidiaries or for investments in strategic areas.”
HOW DOES THE ASSET FUND CREATE RESOURCES?
Talking about how the Wealth Fund creates funds, Sönmez said: “The resource has two legs. One is borrowing, the other is the creation of holding companies. There will be a flow of funds from the turnover to the fund in the Milli lottery. We will also borrow sensibly. Because the cost of borrowing is lower. “We will reduce our weighted average cost of capital. In addition, borrowing has a characteristic that accelerates growth. In our model, it must be a hybrid structure of the two,” he said.
“THE STATE OWNER OF THE NATIONAL LOTTERY”
Sönmez spoke about the transfer of the operating right to Milli Piyango: “The model is a totally non-privatized model. The owner of Milli Piyango is the state. The Wealth Fund will continue to hold the national Pyiango license for 47 years. A service Procurement Model for Revenue Sharing. Created publicly, the present value of the benefit is TL 28.1 billion. In this model, the winner will be the state. The winning party commits to three times the current turnover.
“IF THERE IS NO COMPETITION, WE ASSIST AS THE OWNER”
There are heavy provisions in our specifications, we have dissuasive provisions and contract termination in the event of anti-competition. All players have an internet platform. Gambling is not just about dealers. In addition, new platforms, which we call online, also play an important role. Participants have electronic platforms. It’s a structure that today’s winners are also familiar with. On the online side, it must be equidistant from all players. We can step in as the business owner in a place where there is no competition.”
“WE ARE LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT MODEL FOR HORSE RACING”
Regarding the Turkish Jockey Club, Sönmez said: “Today, TJK is an association independent from us. The main license of the fund concerns racing and betting licenses. We have been talking to the relevant industry players for a long time. on what might be the right model for that. We need to bring foreign investors into a structure where we can attract foreign investors. National lottery games account for 60-70% of total gambling in the world. In Turkey, the first sports betting, horse racing, then the National Lottery. We are looking for the right model to use the right model and encourage horse breeding. You will have news soon, “said.
ISTANBUL FINANCIAL CENTER PROJECT
Commenting on the financial hub of Istanbul, Sönmez said, “When we look at our peers around the world, the wealth funds of the countries concerned act as a catalyst and an investor in strategic projects. The Wealth Fund will enter this project as a financier. financial center is not a real estate project. The first achievement of this project is the establishment of legislation-regulations. “We will contribute to the realization of the project and the creation of the ecosystem. We want to participate as an investor and contribute to the realization of the project.”
“THE ASSET FUND HAS A TRIPLE AUDIT SYSTEM”
Regarding how the fund will be audited, Sönmez said, “There are 3 separate audit systems. The first is independent audit, the second is the parliamentary plan and budget committee, and the third is the audit of the audit department of the presidency. The audits of the Wealth Fund are nearing completion. We will share the financial statements with the public once they are somewhat completed.” he declares.
VIDEO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF SONMEZ ASSETS FUND TALKS TO NTV