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Structured funds can diversify investment alternatives in Turkey

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A Structured Funds panel discussion sponsored by Fortis has proposed the introduction of structured funds as a new asset class for Turkish retail and corporate investors.

The panel discussion was held at the Istanbul Stock Exchange building in Istinye, with the participation of the Capital Markets Board of Turkey (SPK) and other expert institutions from both Turkey and abroad. During the panel session, structured funds were proposed as a new asset class for Turkish individual and corporate investors.

The panel shared and combined the views of SPK officials with the international experience and know-how of Fortis Investments.

The Structured Funds panel was held at Istanbul’s Stock Exchange building in Istinye under Fortis’ sponsorship. Chaired by Professor Asaf Savas Akat, the panel participants were Structured Products magazine editor Paul Lyon, Fortis Investments’ Managing Director Patrick Van de Steen, SPK’s Director of the Department of Institutional Investors Nevin Imamoglu and Fortis Portföy’s General Manager Alp Keler.

In his opening address, Fortis Turkey General Manager Faik Açikalin highlighted the lack of depth in Turkish capital markets and emphasized the need and potential for innovation in investment alternatives for Turkish investors. Noting that structured funds would diminish the risk stemming from market fluctuations,

Açikalin continued: ‘Bringing its international expertise and know-how into Turkey, Fortis continues to offer innovative products and services to its clients. I believe that structured funds will help deepen the capital markets in Turkey and will be met with great interest from investors. This panel will help the public learn about and understand these new funds better. In particular, I would like to thank the SPK for putting into place the necessary regulations to introduce structured funds in our country. Structured funds are widely used by retail and institutional investors in the international markets to gain safe exposure to the capital markets. We are happy to offer to Turkish investors the experience of Fortis Investments, which is among the leading fund management companies in the world with a global fund portfolio of more than EUR 120 billion assets under management’.

Another panel participant, Structured Products magazine Editor Paul Lyon explained the development and role of structured funds in world markets. In particular he demonstrated the tremendous growth of structured funds, especially in emerging economies. Fortis Investments’ Managing Director Patrick Van de Steen explained how structured funds offer investors an efficient exposure to the capital markets, while minimising risks to capital and returns. He described structured funds as particularly apt for the new investors in emerging economies and praised the SPK for introducing best practice legislation regarding structured funds in Turkey.

SPK’s Department of Institutional Investors Director Nevin Imamoglu provided information regarding the legal framework for structured funds proposed for Turkey. She highlighted the differences of structured funds vs other mutual funds for investors, pointing out the former should appeal particularly to more risk averse investors. She also elaborated on the conditions fund managers will need to comply with in order to bring structured funds to market.

Fortis Portföy’s General Manager Alp Keler concluded the panel by predicting a new era in mutual funds in Turkey. He anticipated a wave of innovation following the new investment tools made available through the structured funds legislation and he committed Fortis Portföy would play a leading role by drawing on its international expertise.

The panel highlighted the lack of diversity in the Turkish funds market and noted that new products were needed to bring the necessary depth to the market and to dampen volatility. It concluded that Turkish retail investors, through the safety of structured funds, could make an important contribution to achieving this.

Fortis Investments currently manages a structured funds portfolio worth EUR 20 billion for investors in Europe and Indonesia. The company offers its expertise and know-how in  the field to Turkish investors through wholly-owned Fortis Portföy.

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