Turkey's new financial hub makes debut at Cityscape


Turkeys new financial hub makes debut at Cityscape
Visitors at the Istanbul pavilion during the Cityscape Global on Wednesday. The three-day event concludes today.

The IIFC will be the world's new business hub. It is being developed with the support of the government, Demirhan said.

By Abdul Basit

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Published: Thu 10 Sep 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 10 Sep 2015, 9:18 AM

Turkish real estate developer Agaoglu selected Cityscape Global 2015 for the world premiere of its $10 billion-plus Istanbul International Financial Centre (IIFC).
Talking to Khaleej Times, Idris Demirhan, regional director of Agaoglu in Dubai, said the company was participating for the fourth time at the property event.
The IIFC will be the world's new business hub. It is being developed with the support of the government, Demirhan said.
Responding to a question whether IIFC would compete with the Dubai International Financial Centre, he replied: "Our segment is different from the DIFC. We are very close to Europe, Russia and the Middle East as well."
With the passing of the reciprocity law, the Turkish government permits citizens of 129 countries to acquire property in Turkey. This law has paved the way for the entry of global investors, allowing the Turkish real estate market to flourish. Agaoglu has made $2 billion of sales from foreign investment since 2011.
The number of house sales in Turkey to international investors increased 22 per cent in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute.
According to data released by Istanbul's Culture and Tourism Directorate, almost 20 per cent of the seven million-plus visitors to Istanbul are Arab tourists, nearly doubling their market share from 10 per cent of the total in 2010.
Demirhan said sales have not commenced at the IIFC as prices will be decided by the end of 2015. "We are discussing the price structure for the commercial segment and will release it in upcoming months," he said.
The project was inspired by prominent financial centres around the world. Financial centres in New York, London, Dubai and in the Far East were all examined to identify needs and develop a similar business model in Turkey.
The IIFC project will rise over a 303,000 square metre land space and 3,181,116 sq m of construction area. Its architecture will feature Ottoman influences from the Grand Bazaar and the Topkapi Palace.
Headquarters of prominent institutions such as the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, Turkish Republic Ziraat Bank, Halk Bank, Vak?flar Bank, Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency and Capital Markets Board of Turkey will be present within the project. The IIFC will consist of four main regions focusing on culture, commerce, civic functions and governance. It will also host private management and audit companies.
It will also feature several buildings that belong to banks and financial institutions, a congress and cultural centre and houses as well as support and service units.
Demirhan said the IIFC will be subject to separate regulations by introducing a special mechanism to support the financial centre business model. Tax, allocation of investment, infrastructure works and services will be placed into this special incentive arrangement.
A shopping mall in the IIFC will have 152 commercial units and nine cinema halls. The project will accommodate 50,000 employees.
- abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com

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