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UAE, Turkey to sign financial cooperation deals as ties warm

UAE, Turkey to sign financial cooperation deals as ties warm

THURSDAY, November 25, 2021

Turkey and the United Arab Emirates will sign cooperation pacts for their wealth funds and stock exchanges during one of the highest-level visits in years between the old Middle East foes.

UAE de facto ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan was received in Ankara by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is facing turmoil in currency markets and fading popularity ahead of 2023 elections.

Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund ADQ will sign a cooperation deal with Turkey Wealth Fund, or TWF, according to an official familiar with the talks. ADQ and TWF will also sign a deal to establish a venture fund to invest in technology companies.

The lira strengthened ahead of the visit, the clearest sign yet of efforts to patch up frosty relations that have shaped parts of the Middle East.

On Wednesday, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and Borsa Istanbul will also sign a cooperation agreement and Abu Dhabi Ports will sign a deal for port and logistics investments in Turkey, the official said.

ADQ will ink a cooperation deal with Turkish Presidency Investment Office on foreign direct investment involving energy, petrochemicals, technology, transportation, infrastructure, health care, financial services, food and agriculture. ADQ is also expected to sign cooperation agreements with closely held Turkish companies Kalyon and CCN, according to the same official.

The visit caps a warming of ties that started earlier this year and could unlock billions of dollars in trade and investment. Abu Dhabi's wealth funds have already spent months scouting for investments in Turkey, Bloomberg reported earlier this year. The UAE has sought to step back from regional conflicts and refocus on the economy.

This week Erdogan's relentless pursuit of lower interest rates sparked a currency crisis, with the lira losing 25% of its value against the dollar in the past month, and more than 40% so far this year. Erdogan is keen to repair ties with the OPEC oil producer, potentially opening up new sources of investment.

Ties between the countries had been strained over the role of Islamist groups in the tumult that followed the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. The two countries supported opposing sides in Libya and have disagreed on issues including gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.