Turkey joins Gulf black gold rush as Saudi announces plans for world’s biggest wealth fund

As Turkey seeks a share in what is to be the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund valued at $900 billion and to be launched by Saudi Arabia, Mehmet Şimşek, the economy minister, was scheduled to fly to Dubai late yesterday to attend the Gulf Investment Conference.

Şimşek and his entourage, consisting of economy and privatization bureaucrats, are expected to invite the giant wealth fund to invest in Turkey, during the two-day conference which starts today.

The Turkish delegation is expected to outline the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s measures to enhance the investment climate in Turkey and brief representatives of Gulf capital on Turkey’s privatization drive.

Officials who spoke to the Anatolia news agency on condition of anonymity said they will define Turkey as a country undergoing structural reforms, and as a land that poses as a “corridor” in the transfer of energy resources to the West. Gulf capital will be invited to make joint investments with Turkish companies.

The giant Saudi Arabian fund, as well as investment funds from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, are the main focus of the trip.


Saudi Arabia is planning to establish what could be the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, worth more than $900 billion and dwarfing current title-holder Abu Dhabi, according to a report by UK daily the Financial Times.

The effort, likely to be led by the country’s Public Investment Fund, “will be a formidable rival for other government-owned investment funds in the Middle East and Asia, which are playing an increasingly active role in channelling capital to western companies” the newspaper said.

Rapidly growing sovereign wealth funds, which currently control more than $2 trillion in assets, have triggered concerns in developed countries that foreign governments could gain control over key industries.


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