The latest major investment further expands the Gulf state’s investments in Turkey.
The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) finalised the purchase of a stake in Turkey’s Eurasia tunnel from the South Korean partner, SK Group, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
Citing the Turkish Competition Authority (Rekabet Kurumu), the news agency stated that the board’s decision was initially taken on 8 September and announced on Monday.
“It was decided that the investment in the tunnel company – Avrasya Tuneli Isletme Insaat ve Yatirim A.S. [ATAS] is not within the [board’s] scope,” the statement, as quoted by Reuters.
The tunnel connects the Bosphorus Strait the Asian and European sides of Istanbul, which has long served as a key touristic attraction and landmark for all visitors. Avrasya, developed by ATAS, was opened to traffic in 2016, covering 5.4 kilometres.
In June this year, QIA had announced the purchase agreement with SK Group entities, including SK Ecoplant to acquire 24.5% of indirect equity interest worth $160 million in ATAS. The leading Korean engineering and construction company will continue to hold a 25.5% indirect equity interest.
The latest move further expands the Gulf state’s investments in Turkey, with both countries boasting ties that have continued to strengthen over the past years.
In 2020, Qatar and Turkey signed an agreement finalising the transfer of shares in Istanbul’s IstinyePark, one of the country’s most famous luxury shopping malls.
According to a previous report by The Daily Sabah released at the time, Qatar Holding paid $1 billion to purchase 42% of Istinye Park.
Both countries have continued to sign major agreements in various fields, from defence to culture.
In December last year, during their seventh annual Strategic Dialogue, Qatar and Turkey signed up to 12 new agreements in Doha.
The annual event sees the signing of major deals, though details on this year’s event has yet to be announced.
On a political level, Ankara was quick to stand by Doha at the time of the 2017 GCC crisis, which saw Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt impose an illegal air, land and sea blockade on Doha.
During the region’s worst diplomatic dispute, Turkey sent some of its military personnel as Turkish products filled supermarket shelves.
The feud was resolved in 2021 under the Al-Ula Declaration, which saw the lifting of the illegal embargo and the resumption of ties between the Arab states.
Meanwhile, trade volume between Doha and Ankara has increased by 6%, reaching $1.6 billion between 2020 and 2021.
By December last year, Qatar’s total investments in Turkey reached $22 billion, with 533 Turkish companies operating in the Gulf country in numerous projects that are worth at least $18.5 billion. In turn, 179 Qatari companies currently operate in Turkey.