Thursday, 5 March 2015

Turkey’s wealthiest individuals invest in property, not technology

Real estate dominates the investments of Turkey's wealthiest individuals, a latest list of the richest turks shows.

This contrasts with a finding in the global version of the same list which showed that most of the global rich generate their wealth from investments in technology.

Forbes Turkey released its list of the 100 richest Turks on Tuesday, one day after the international edition of the magazine published its World's Billionaires list. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, was ranked the world's richest person for the second consecutive year with a net wealth of $79.2 billion. While 85 of the top 100 richest people in Turkey hold key investments in real estate, 83 also operate in the energy sector. Fifty-four individuals invest in tourism and 46 in finance; however, only 15 members of the list invest in fields related to technology.

Among those who generate most of their wealth from construction projects are the CEO of Torunlar GYO, Aziz Torun; the founder of Enka Holding, Şarık Tara; and the chairman of Ağaoğlu, Ali Ağaoğlu. Others, such as Doğan Holding's honorary chairman Aydın Doğan and Zorlu Holding's Chairman Ahmet Nazif Zorlu, did not miss the chance to invest in construction projects whenever they considered the project profitable.

All of the wealthiest families in Turkey possess at least one hotel in the country and are counted among the real estate investors on Forbes Turkey's list. According to the list, Turkey had 33 billionaires as of 2015. Murat Ülker, the chairman of Yıldız Holding, Turkey's largest food company, was named the richest person in the country with a fortune of $4.4 billion and was ranked the world's 369th wealthiest person on the international list. Hüsnü Özyeğin, the CEO of Fiba Holding, was ranked the second wealthiest individual in Turkey with a fortune of $2.7 billion and was followed by Semahat Arsel with $2.6 billion. As people with identical fortunes must share a ranking, the list actually included 118 names. Their collective wealth amounted to $100.4 billion.

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While Ülker increased his profits most in the past year with $700 million in profits for the year, Tara has seen the biggest drop in assets, losing $900 million.

Forbes Turkey has been releasing the list of 100 richest people in Turkey for almost 10 years. Forty-eight of those on the magazine's first list in 2006 doesn't remain on the list this year.



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