'Sovereign funds to take bigger role after pandemic'

By Aysu Bicer

ANKARA (AA) – Sovereign wealth funds will play a greater role in backing countries' private sectors during crises like the one caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the managing director of the Turkish Wealth Fund (TWF) said on Friday.

"I believe that in the post-COVID environment, we will see more activity from the sovereign funds," Zafer Sonmez said in a news program on CNBC.

He noted that in the next three to five years, sovereign-owned entities and sovereign funds would play an important role in terms of equity.

He also said that a newly adopted law allowing the TWF to inject cash or acquire controlling stakes in strategic firms facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis would help stop capital outflow from the firms.

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Underlining that this would be an opportunity for the fund to play a vital role in consolidating Turkey's response to virus, Sonmez noted that the country's debt-to-GDP ratio was comparatively low — some 32.5% — and had room for further leverage.

"In terms of debt, the equity response should come from the sovereign wealth funds," he concluded.

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